Tuesday, May 10, 2011

In A Funk Over The Junk

It's not only Arnold Schwarzenegger who is getting dumped. On a street corner near where I live, a computer monitor has been sitting there for well over a week. It's not a flat screen. If it was, it probably would have been gone long ago. Rather, it's probably the same vintage as Gordon Gecko's cell phone. You know, the one last seen in the opening moments of the Wall Street sequel, where it is among the personal belongings being returned to him as he is being released from his eight-year prison stint.

Directly across the street from the computer monitor on the other corner is a sofa. It's been there nearly as long. In fact if you travel along any of the streets in the residential neighborhoods of downtown that lie west of State Street you will see all sorts of discarded furniture and applicances sitting next to the curb. West Downtown is starting to look like Fred Sanford's front yard.

Most people who live in Santa Barbara have heard of the neighborhood near East Beach known as "The Funk Zone." Well, West Downtown is in danger of becoming "The Junk Zone."

People, there's a place in this world for junk. And it's in your trunk. Just ask Kim Kardashian.

What is going on? You certainly don't see this in the downtown neighborhoods that lie east of State Street.

There are a lot of renters in this neighborhood, myself included. Not a lot of families with kids. Rather, the neighborhood is populated by a lot of 20-something college students and those who are recently out of college. One thing is apparent: Their mothers don't live here because no one is picking up after them.

Now, no one would ever accuse me of being a neat freak, but walking the streets around here, I suddenly feel like a Felix in a world of Oscars. How odd.

Electronic items won't be picked up by the trash haulers on their weekly runs because they are electronic waste. They have to be taken to one of the electronic waste recycling events that are held several times a year.

It is my understanding that large items such as old furniture will be picked up by the trash haulers, if you make arrangements with them in advance. But apparently too many people can't be bothered with storing their electronic appliances until they can be taken to a recycler or picking up the phone and making a date with the trash guy. Kind of pitiful for a town that brags about being the birthplace of the environmental movement.

So, what do you say gang? Can we agree that if you don't want that old sofa probably nobody else does either? And if you insist on putting your discarded items out on the curb and they're still there two hours later, can you put them away? After all, if you run a flag up the pole and nobody salutes it, you bring it back down. The same should go for your junk.
© 2011 by Craig Smith and www.craigsmithsblog.com