What if you could call a taxi to take your rubbish away? In some places you can.
We all know that sinking feeling at the sight of mounting garbage outside our homes. Many of us do, at any rate. Municipal garbage collection may be wanting whereby large amounts of household waste remain uncollected for days on end.
But what if you could call a taxi to take your uncollected rubbish away on short notice? In several towns and cities worldwide, you can.
“Rubbish taxis” (so called in the UK, Ireland and Australia) and “trash taxis” (thus named in the US) have long been popular with homeowners and business owners alike. These taxis, usually painted yellow in the style of passenger cabs, can be called, like normal taxis. Yet instead of taking you away, they take your garbage away. (And that includes toxic waste.)
Better yet: special smartphone apps allow you to estimate the cost of collection and set the time of it.
Many of the entrepreneurs behind such family-owned services have prettified their trucks to make them more appealing to customers. “I call my company Trash Taxi,” says one pioneering operator in the US, “because the trucks are yellow with chrome and checkers and have taxicab lights on top. It puts a prettier face on garbage.”
“Our rubbish taxis are specially designed to carry large amounts of waste and operate with scales too,” promises another company, this one in Kensington, London.
By their very nature, many such garbage taxi services can respond to calls much faster than municipal waste disposal teams. Some of them even offer their services free of charge, thanks to subsidies from local municipal councils.
There is still the matter, though, of what happens to your waste once it’s collected and whisked away. Does much of it get recycled or is it simply dumped in a landfill someplace?