Here, in Maastricht, taking your trash out is an activity on its own.
It depends on the neighborhood that you live, but in the Avenue Ceramique area, we must take the trash bag from the Gemeente Maastricht every Tuesday night. That is a white and red bag that needs to be placed outside of the building.
It is actually easy to check when is trash day in Maastricht in the Restavfal kalender (waste calendar). Once you click in the link, you need to mention your post code and address, and there you can find when you need to take the trash out in your area.
To be honest, in the beginning we couldn’t believe it! We were outraged! Having to put the trash out just once a week?!?! when in Mexico they picked it for us twice a day? But, we eventually learned how to cope with it, of course, with the help of our terrace ha ha
And even after a while, we even learned to be more conscious about recycling and our environment. Sometimes Jack grabs boxes of carton and asks us not to throw them away, he then turns them into fun things, paints them and converts them into fun art pieces ha ha, who would have imagined that toys could come for free?
So, every Wednesday morning (in our neighboorhood) the bags get picked up by the trash truck. And you can see lots of bags spread around but all of them in an orderly way.
At first we were very confused on what could go inside of the bag, as it was not really explained to us. But, after getting fined for an amount of 300 euros we learned the lesson, no trash where it does not belong… And, yes! you are reading correctly! 300 euros for leaving carton boxes outside the carton container. That is what the trash inspector wrote to us in a letter and later again over the phone! And yes… there actually is such job, trash inspector ha ha
So, what is supposed to be inside of the restavfal bag? Well, the household waste that you can not put in the trash containers for Glass (which is divided in clear and dark), Drink Cartoons, Cans, Textiles and Shoes, and Paper and Carton.
For the things that cannot go in the bag, we need to walk to the special Trash containers that are a couple of blocks away from were we live.
And at first we were upset by having to walk to the trash containers and having to carry the trash all of the way, but later it became just part of our routines- like everybody else’s who lives in Maastricht.
These trash containers are huge bins in which the trash actually gets stored underground!
Later, a man comes in his truck and takes out his “game boy” to handle the machine that picks up the bin and empties the trash to just put it back in the ground! It looks like one of those machines in which you put a coin and then grab a stuffed toy! Ha ha
The reason we decided to write about such a simple thing, is because in Mexico we really never or seldomly realized how much food we were throwing away, the importance of recycling and just the fact that we have to follow the rules of the place we now live in, so in life it’s always better to adapt rather than fight the changes! Once we accepted that this was part of our activities, it stopped bothering us!