I simply will not acknowledge the weather today.  It is not worthy of my time or my words.  There’s nothing poetic or redeeming about it.  Moving on.

White Out  You’ve heard the old saying, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes…”.  Saturday was a perfect example of the Midwest’s fickle nature, and I witnessed it firsthand.  One moment, the sun was glaring amidst the clearest of skies, and I remember sipping my coffee, thinking it’s not a bad start to the weekend.  Within a few gulps, the sky had turned broodish, and I remember thinking perhaps the coffee isn’t strong enough, and before I could finish my thought, the sky had disappeared altogether taking the horizon with it.  It’s as if the clouds had descended to the ground, and there was nothing but white.  Moments later, the sun peaked through the white fog, and the clouds parted.  This went on for hours, providing valuable, low-cost entertainment.  It was Mother Nature at her best and worst.

When the weather finally leveled out and decided to be impudently cold, I ventured out.  As luck, poor planning, and sophomoric optimism would have it, my car needed gas, and my tire needed air.  After recovering from the wind-tunnel affect all gas stations have, I waited patiently at the air tank station (yes, this is the proper technical term).  As my fingers began to thaw while sitting in the car, I noticed the truck inconveniently parked in front of the air tank thingy and vacuum was not utilizing either.  Instead, he had very carefully and purposely backed his truck to the station’s dumpster.  Brazenly, he began unloading the contents of his vehicle.  Bag after bag.  Paint can after paint can until I leaned out the window and said, “Hey, you can’t do that.”  He turned to me and said, “I know”, while continuing to load up the dumpster.

Illegal Dumping  He was not simply cleaning out the contents of his truck but was rather dumping the contents of a job or jobs he had just completed.  This is illegal.

I proceeded to take a picture of his plates and brought it to the attention of the attendant on duty.  The attendant wrote down the plates and called upon his surveillance camera for additional evidence.

Illegal Dumping Sign  This may not seem like a big deal to some, but it is.  Illegal dumping of commercial items and chemicals is not only dangerous but costly.  Some villages report that they’ll often find commercial debris from construction sites/contractors dumped into alleys, forest preserves, and even residential/retail dumpsters.  It is dangerous to humans, wildlife, and the environment.  Proper dumping is absolutely costly, and sometimes contractors, in attempt to save money, will dump anywhere other than where they’re supposed to.

So, what can you do?  Be vigilant.  Report any suspicious dumping activity.  If you hire a contractor and debris must be taken off-site, ask them what their process is.  A good contractor, many times, will spell out their process and associated fees for dumping properly and ethically in their proposal/estimate.  Proper disposal is not cheap, but the alternatives are far more harmful and expensive in the long run.

“Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.”

-Mark Twain

Best wishes,

Kim Sweeney