“Pick Me! Pick Me! ” they seem to cry as I look
down from my sewing table for the next few choice little bits to add to the growing composition below. Some of them are indeed very small, catching my eye as little gems against the background of the less startling; but properly placed adjacent to something else, potentially every piece will become important in the overall outcome.
As I comment below, I literally do up-end the scrap bags onto the floor, and there’s another heap behind the camera, too, but the light coming in onto it made that too hard to photograph without moving everything around. At times I feel as a dumpster diver must feel, searching through people’s discarded stuff looking for useful or valuable things, or, let’s be honest, maybe looking for food, depending on where the dumpster is.
Hauling out recyclables from the city maintained dumpsters on every block in Montevideo is still a reasonable business, generally run by one or two people with a horse and cart. With the dumpsters being emptied 3 times per week and pressure hosed once, they have to be organised to be ahead of the rubbish workers’ schedule. Licences are gradually dwindling though as they come due, and this way of life is allegedly disappearing. I always do my best to put recyclables in the orange plastic bags you get, theoretically one or two with every supermarket order, and they are meant to only contain recycleable glass, plastic, paper, styrofoam and such. The list is printed on the outside. Previously, each house had a basket up on a pole outside the front gate, into which bags of rubbish went; and every monday a guy would come down our street looking for cardboard and plastic packaging, etc, and I used to put anything like that out that morning. I’m not sure how he’d be doing, never see him around now.