Tom Ross: The buns are on me |

Tom Ross: The buns are on me

Tom Ross

— I never intended to go Dumpster diving. It just kind of worked out that way.

One minute I was reorganizing the clutter in my half of the garage. The next thing I knew, I was stashing two-dozen perfectly good hot dog buns in my freezer and feeling a little strange about it.

I wonder if any of my neighbors witnessed me using a ski pole to fish a large cardboard box out of the Dumpster in my townhome complex. Did they see me discovering there were unspoiled buns in the box and carting them home under my arm like it was nobody's business?

From a legal standpoint, when it comes to someone else's buns, are finders keepers?

I mean, it's not like I need to cruise the Dumpsters of Ski Town USA for my next meal. And I'm not a Doomsday Prepper (yet). If anything, I'm overfed. So far I've eaten three buns without any ill effect.

But I am a little fussy about what goes on in my neighborhood Dumpster. I guess after living in a single-family home for 20 years I'm just not accustomed to sharing my trash and recycling receptacles with my neighbors. It all started with the five big boxes that hadn't been flattened before they were placed in the Dumpster last month. They could have been recycled.

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Before I go further I should let my neighbors know that I am proud of them — they are, in fact, recycling maniacs. Our rollaway recycling barrels always fill up before they are picked up on Fridays. But we don't yet have our recycling etiquette down pat. Not only do some of us put un-flattened boxes in the Dumpster, we put un-flattened corrugated cardboard boxes in the recycling barrels.

Sheesh! Don't they know that causes the bins to fill up prematurely? Instead, boxes should be flattened and stacked between two recycling barrels.

And another thing: Yampa Valley Recycles asks people not to drop their single-stream recyclables off in plastic bags. And you can leave the screw-on caps off your bottles. Really.

There. I feel better now that I have all that stuff off my chest. But I guess I'd better invite my neighbors to a wiener roast to make sure I haven't offended them.

The buns are on me.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email

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