Tuesday is our Trash Day. And this week, somehow, it completely slipped my mind.
I don’t know how I forgot it. Or why I didn’t see any neighbors’ trashcans out on the sidewalk.
Maybe it is these dark mornings we seem to be having now that it is, oh, October?
Maybe it is early onset Alzheimer’s?
‘T any rate, I got home from running an errand and there, in the light of day, sat the entire block’s emptied trashcans.
My trashcan sat, just out of reach, a few inches–INCHES people–off the sidewalk. Where it always sits.
So, as you may have figured out, the garbage men did NOT empty my trashcan.
But all was not lost. I won’t deny that I panicked. I did panic. I am a first class recycler. I sort our trash and take mountains of it to the recycling center. But there is no way I could reduce the weekly waste of our Gang of Four to fit into that trashcan as things stood.
I began racking my brains trying to remember where I might have seen large, apartment-complex style trash Dumpsters to which I could slink off, under cover of night, and surreptitiously deposit my trash.
I’ve done it before, although not here in Luxembourg.
A friend suggested I look for guidance on the Ville de Lux website.
Although there was nothing there to answer the question, “What do I do when I forget to set out my trashcan?”, there was an email address.
There was a phone number too, but I cannot be contrite and charming in French over the phone. Not easily, anyhow. I CAN read it well enough to ascertain that my answer does not lie within the pages of the website. And I CAN be contrite and charming via email. With the help of my good friend, Google Translate.
This, I did.
I wrote a very apologetic and groveling note, seeking the advice of the good people at the Service d’hygiène.
And, boy, oh, boy. They are Good People!
They wrote me back almost immediately. The most polite and helpful response:
En ce moment, les surveillants du service extérieur sont déjà rentrés, mais ils seront informés demain matin et nous allons trouver une solution pour vous aider. Nous vous aviserons par mail. Usuellement, nous passons dans la journée pour vidanger votre poubelle. Déposez votre récipient demain matin avant 6 heures sur le trottoir. Il se peut qu’un supplément sera facturé. Avec nos meilleures salutations . . .
“Everyone has gone for the day,” they replied. “But we will find a solution . . . put your trashcan on the sidewalk before 6:00 a.m. . . . You might receive a supplemental charge for the service . . .”
This, I also did.
And when I returned home the following morning around 7:50 a.m. after having taken my child to school, there, on the sidewalk, sat my empty trashcan.
Talk about service! Three cheers for the Service d’hygiène!