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A fresh start on garbage day

When trash cans go out to the curb, so do unwanted scraps lurking in the fridge and around the house.

On Tuesdays, garbage day here, it's as though the whole town has showered and put on clean clothes. Well, at least put clean bags in the trash cans.

Observance of garbage day starts several days before Monday evening, when the cans and bags go to the curb. My focus tilts toward evaluations of my home's contents, especially in the kitchen.

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Oh, look, this used to be a head of iceberg lettuce. Remember the meal plan that was inspired by a turn through the produce department last week? A big salad with a bed of iceberg, romaine, and Belgian endive cradling jumbo shrimp, hard-boiled egg wedges, beet slices, chickpeas, chopped hearts of palm, and anchovy olives. Maybe chunks of cheese, say Swiss or Colby. Or both. Yeah, well, this used to be the head of iceberg lettuce that was going in it.

Oh, and here are the radishes. How quickly they went from potential garnish for the big salad to former radishes.

The many possibilities lurking in the vegetable drawers and on the fridge shelves continually thrill my garbage-gathering senses. Is anyone going to eat this little piece of chicken left over from Eisenhower's day?

The newspapers that have been reproducing in some remote corner of my house are to be stuffed neatly into brown grocery bags and put out next to the recycle bin.

Now, how about this stuff from the wastebaskets all around the house? Did I really do a good job of separating recycling candidates from out-and-out trash?

What I'm good at is starting fresh every Tuesday: giving myself empty receptacles that I can spend a week filling with broken shoelaces, pencil sharpener shavings, wrappers from sardine cans, a worn-out hairbrush, a burned-out light bulb.

I never seem to give thought to the bulldozer burying my garbage in a landfill somewhere. I don't wonder about what might someday be built atop my moldy lettuce and radishes. I am just happy to get rid of them.