There’s an evening phenomenon in Marseille that I don’t quite understand, and I’m beginning to dislike. It’s the dumpster divers. I’m amazed everyday at what I see. Literally every evening in which trash is put out for pick-up, across the city hundreds (thousands?) of people will walk their route and dig through the trash of every container out there.
We’re on the first floor of our apartment building (2nd floor in American counting), and thus our building’s garbage bins sit not too far from our living room window when they go out to the curb. Twice a week at dusk I watch the odd ritual go down. Someone walks up to our dumpsters, pops them open, and then goes through the trash, bag by bag. Each bag is ripped open and scattered, pieces looked through and rarely something pocketed. But here’s the part I don’t get: the people who go through the trash don’t typically have the lowest socio-economic look about them. I know some of the homeless folks in Marseille, and it’s not them going through our trash. The trash diggers are usually guys in their 20s/30s, often wearing designer jeans and manpurses with decent haircuts.
The part that irritates me is that they open up all of the trash bags and make a total mess. Every night trash gets scattered on the ground (not in the dumpsters) and is never picked back up. Then the giant man-eating rats come out to play. Is it wrong that I’m contemplating dropping the refuse of my son’s diaper open in our trash bags rather than in our toilets? And opening all containers of molded food before tossing? Perhaps such a surprise gift on the tearing open of a trash bag is needed. Maybe that’s not nice. But neither is scattering trash all over our city!
Either way, I’d better get a shredder.