Pile it up, pile it high on the platter

Temporary cardboard depot, Montara, CA, July 2009

I’ve started noticing this curious artifact around town on garbage days. At first I thought these piles of cardboard were mistakes (especially when one appeared at the foot of our driveway). But, for reasons that aren’t obvious, these are simply steps in the process: move the cardboard from individual households to multi-street piles, then gather and remove the piles.

It’s interesting to consider how many processes may present as error-ridden or incomplete depending on when (and with what context) they are viewed. Does the county get phone calls every week complaining about the pile of trash sitting on the street? How could they communicate more context in this pile to better suggest that they’ll indeed be right back to pick it up, don’t you worry?


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