We were introduced to Big Trash Day when we moved to Salt Lake City… shockingly that’s almost 25 years ago… and we thought it was a brilliant concept.
The idea is that once a year you can put all the stuff that’s too big for the normal can into giant dumpsters the city drops off. Presto! Of course there are rules about hazardous materials and so on, but by and large the program lets you get rid of things you want to get rid of. Also against the rules is cruising those dumpsters for treasures, but there’s plenty of that, sharp-eyed men in pickup trucks driving slowly by. Your daughters are probably safe, but lock up your scrap metal.
Auckland also has a city service for picking up the big stuff. But I’ve heard it’s complicated, and it certainly seems like people use private alternatives instead. Half the houses on our block have one of these startlingly strong woven plastic bags around the place. They fill up with everything from renovation waste to grass clippings. You can just see the new staircase our neighbors built in the background. The old rickety stairs got broken up and put in the big bag. Then you make a phone call and a truck like the one above comes along and scoops it all up with a little crane. Magic!