Sunday, November 02, 2008

Trashing the Economy

Is trash an economic indicator?

The two of us were discussing actual garbage, and how the amount of junk, dreck and debris that we pack into those big city-supplied containers might be a better indicator of how the economy is going than anything we get from Wall Street or Washington.

I'd heard recently that trash collectors around town have noticed that they were hauling less garbage. Shiya confirmed it.

He sent me some figures indicating that for fiscal year 2007-08, the total trash tonnage dropped 2 percent. More dramatically, bulk trash - the old couches and big tree limbs that we periodically leave in the back alley or out by the curb - had dropped nearly 15 percent.

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