Saturday, October 11, 2008

Camp Trash Can

Yesterday, I got to experience something that was interesting, depressing, shocking, and just plain odd.
In case you didn't already know, the military is one of many federal bureaucracies that uses a lot of stuff, and wastes a lot of stuff. With the war halfway through its 5th year, you'd think there would be a lot of garbage accumulated. Well, there is...and I got to see it.
Camp Trash Can is one of many waste depots in country, and all units on this installation send their trash to be dumped here. On a weekly basis, my platoon loads up the "trash truck", a M1083 Medium Tactical Vehicle (MTV), and we transport it to the dump.
While this area is just like any other landfill, the most interesting, yet depressing, aspect is that all the people who work there spend their day rummaging through the trash to find stuff of use to them. When we stopped the truck to let the security guards know what we were dumping, a passerby took advantage of our halt and proceeded to jump up in the back and grab a water cooler, filled with hundreds of nuts and bolts!
Most of what we were dumping was stuff that had accumulated in our welder's bay throughout the deployment; yet, this stuff was of great use to the local nationals who work there. There were two things I was thinking while emptying out the back of the truck: 1) I couldn't believe how much trash I was looking at and how much money all this would actually cost to clean up and 2) I bet "Survivorman" Les Stroud could build a lot of cool things with all this trash! Sorry, still a big fan of him.So, in short, I saw first-hand just how much stuff we are throwing away on an almost daily basis and the old saying is true, one man's trash is another man's treasure!
Take care.

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