An Auckland Institution

Andrew Stephens, Saturday the 28th of April, 2012 in Happening

Each city has its own rhythms and local customs, and this week marks one of the most important events in the Auckland calendar This post was automatically imported from my old sandfly.net.nz blog. It may look a little weird since it was not originally written for this format.. Its a celebration of remaking, a new beginning, and it lifts the heart of every resident of this great city. I am taking, of course, of the most Auckland of events: Matariki

Inorganic Collection!

Every other week of the year dumping huge piles of rubbish on the side of the road will get you arrested, but during Inorganic Collection your roadside verge can be piled high with all sorts of random clutter. And some people pile things very high indeed, with entire streets competing with each other to see which one can look most like a post-apocalyptic war zone.

A brief survey around the neighborhood today revealed demographic information that would be immensely valuable to marketers, if we could somehow send it back through time to 1985. Old lounge suites predominate, along with chipped dinner sets and mattresses whose mattressing days are long over. Old TVs are surprisingly ubiquitous, all dismembered - just like we took apart old TVs when we were kids. Getting rid of old junk, and taking things apart seem to be universal human traits.

So is scavenging. I saw more than one van cruising the streets, riding low on its suspension, stopping and disgorging old, slow, hat-wearing men to fossick at likely looking heaps. It was late in the day, and all the good stuff had already been taken. I did find a pretty rad skateboard, but on reflection I left it - the neighborhood urchins will put it to better use.

For my own part, I managed to dump an old orange lounge suite, a dryer, an old printer, and a few length of rotting lumber. These things were once useful, but now my life with be better with their absence. Tomorrow the sun with rise on an emptier, but happier suburb.