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Freeze! Drop Your Garbage

I just remembered an anecdote I mentioned in a longer posting here at Muninn as I passed by one of the street side trash cans here in Taipei today where, even when it is far from full, one has to concentrate to get a coffee cup through its small hole. Re-blogging the memory in question from the old posting:

[Street-side trash cans] are labeled “For Pedestrians Only” and apparently this warning is enforced. When I was walking down the street one morning I witnessed an old man ride past a garbage can on his bicycle. Stopping clumsily, he squeezed a small bag of garbage into the garbage can. Just as I passed, witnessing this, a man leapt off of the bench to the right of me…and yelled at the man while flashing some kind of official ID. I couldn’t understand his crazed shouting but I imagine it was something like, “Freeze! Garbage Police!” I watched in fascination as the young garbage cop lectured the old man, who bowed his head low and listened quietly. I didn’t stick around to see if the old man was fined, but considering the fact that eating or drinking on the subway in Taipei can get you a $1,500 Taiwanese dollar fine, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was slapped with a hefty amount for his blatant misuse of the public garbage can.

{ 2 } Comments

  1. Kerim Friedman | 2008.6.9 at 7:13 | Permalink

    First of all, I’m amazed you saw a public trashcan. I thought they only existed at MRT stations.

    Second, the reason I heard that there are no public trashcans is that people use them for household and commercial garbage.

    And last, I somehow don’t think that having a garbage police is going to help much…

  2. Muninn | 2008.6.9 at 8:12 | Permalink

    Sorry I forgot to explain the reason: you are right – I think I explained that better in the original posting I was quoting from.

    I have seen a lot of public trashcans, but they are small and don’t always get noticed, I think.

    I think you are right about the efficacy of the trash police…