Sidewalk mattress clutter — been there, done that.
Last night was “trash night,” which is often the beginning of larger objects’ indefinite stays at the curb. Months ago, a neighbor set out several of those glorified paper bags filled with leaves. For an unknown reason, one bag was never removed until weeks later. There was nothing sketchy about what was in the bag. It was placed at curb when the City announced leaf recycling time.
Items that are not being disposed of properly have a worse outlook.
The normal curb life of bulky items is an ugly one. They tend to be slowly disassembled. They might get pushed or kicked into the gutter. Migration is not out of the realm of possibility.
I have seen cabinets set out in salvageable condition get rendered completely useless. The drawers are pulled out. A loose handle will get separated. That handle will wind up in the gutter, two houses down. A week passes. That piece of hardware will turn up two blocks away.
As for the mattress situation, when nearby towns charge a fee for disposal, bulky items from those towns frequently wind up dropped curbside (or on barricaded streets in Parkville or in our City parks) here because we have no such disposal fee.
But the improper disposal of bulky waste is merely a symptom.
Quality items are rarely affordable. Many accept that they have to purchase the cheapest items available — because they “need” it now and can not (or in some cases, will not) save up — and those inexpensive goods are — surprise — poor quality. Instead of buying a mattress (or bureau, desk, etc.) that will last for decades, many end up spending more in the long run because they have to replace their cheaper mattresses (or bureaus, desks, etc.) every few years.
The cheapness of merchandise encourages this behavior. When people move within the city, especially when the move is sudden, it can be easier for them to leave the bulkiest items at the curb and just buy new ones when they reach their new apartment.
As the system is set up now, there is no incentive for people to take the long view.