At last, the end of the academic year has arrived. It’s that wonderful time in which I study for exams, put the finishing touches on my last few papers, say goodbye to my friends for the summer and clean out my apartment, putting all the furniture I no longer want or need out on the curb.
But now, the last part of that end-of-the-year ritual can’t take place. The city of Marquette has decided that there will be no curb-side garbage pick-up this year.
Instead, the city has set up a place on Baraga Avenue for people to dispose of their large amounts of unwanted furniture or other items. But you can only drop that stuff off on Tuesdays, with a couple of Saturdays in April thrown in there just to make us feel better.
And to make this garbage drop-off even more complicated, anyone dropping off anything at the site must have a copy of a water bill in their name, to prove that they are in fact, Marquette residents, and not people from Negaunee trying to dispose of their trash for free. You know who you are.
However, if you’re renting a house, and your landlord pays the water bill, which is the case for many Northern students, the landlord can sign a form, which provides you with the much-needed proof of residence so that you can take that lamp you made out of a keg and the La-Z-Boy your roommate puked on after drinking too much Jager and get rid of them forever.
The problem with this scenario, however, is while you may no longer understand why you ever owned a keg lamp, someone else might see its greatness. As the old adage goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
And while curb-side garbage pick-up week may be unsightly and a little disgusting, I can handle ugly neighborhoods for one week if I can get a free couch out of it.
To be honest, most of the furniture in my house was left by the previous tenants, which worked out in my favor. All I had to buy was a kitchen table from a garage sale. But now I’m moving to a bigger place, and I’ll definitely need something more than two couches and a table.
Without the week of discarded furniture, where am I going to find a decades-old vacuum, or an end table painted a nauseating purple or a desk that’s missing some drawers?
What’s worse about this whole situation, is that by forcing Marquette residents to take their furniture to a designated area, instead of having it taken for them, the city is assuming that all residents who need to dispose of some furniture all have a truck or an SUV, or at least access to one.
I drive a Dodge Intrepid. It’s a ridiculously large vehicle, but it isn’t big enough to put a bed into, or a dresser. And I’m sad to say, all my friends that do own vehicles have tiny cars. So if I wanted to get rid of any of my old furniture, I’d be in a bit of a pickle.
The city of Marquette should reinstate the week of curb-side garbage pick-up. I want to spend an entire day walking around the city with my roommate, sifting through people’s junk. Why? Because people throw away some pretty funny stuff. And because, amidst the ridiculous couches from the ’70s and the chairs that no longer have backs, I may just find that coffee table that fits perfectly with the old brown couch and unstable bookshelf in my living room.