David E. Steiner

Retired USAF, Teacher, Dad, Grandfather, Curmudgeon

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We have almost as many euphemisms for garbage as we do for death. You can call it litter if you want to. The National Park is very big on litter, as in “Don’t Litter!” That means don’t drop your garbage on the ground and leave it. If you’re English, you can call it dust. A dust-bin is a garbage can in England. You can call it refuse, but in print it looks odd. You can also call it rubbish, but that’s now a little old fashioned. Trash is also good. Unless you burn the paper, the chances are excellent that it will end up as 100 percent trash or garbage, to put it bluntly, and it will then be taken to the Solid Waste Transfer Site. That’s our euphemism for garbage dump. [No longer, of course. We recycle.]

Maybe it has something to do with the people who work there. Maybe they would rather tell people they work at the Solid Waste Transfer Site than the garbage dump.

Garbage has always been a problem up here. You can read something about it on the front page almost every week, although it’s called solid waste.

Years ago, when we came up only in the summer, we took our garbage about a hundred feet from the house, dropped it on the ground and left it. When it piled up we dropped some tree limbs over it to hide it. Try that today and you’ll wind up in court. In fact, that old dump is still there, and one of these years I’m going to bring in a bulldozer and bury what remains of the old tin cans and glass bottles. We were pretty dumb about garbage in those days.

Now we have the “Green Boxes” (although some of them are brown) at Solid Waste Transfer Sites. At the one I use, I pay $8 a month for the privilege of bringing 10 30-gallon trash (they slipped on that one. Should have been “solid waste”) bags, or not more than two cubic yards of refuse (same mistake) to the Transfer Site.

I’d like to know who decided to call garbage Solid Waste and dumps Transfer Sites. I’ll bet he never saw a garbage dump in his life. I feel sorry for our children, growing up thinking garbage is Solid Waste.

Garbage has a nice, clean, honest feel about it, but Solid Waste is like something you wouldn’t want to get your hands on.

Well, I suppose we’re stuck with it. You can’t fight City Hall or the Public Works Department. Still, when Mary L. asks me where I’m going, I don’t think I’m going to tell her I’m going to the Solid Waste Transfer Site.




© 1985 – 2003, David E. Steiner

Allenspark Wind Columns:


Why Allenspark?

Going Riding [August, 1985]


Used Cars

Peace and Quiet [1986]

Liberals & Conservatives

Going to the Movies

The Screened Porch

The Beginning of The Season

The Weather

The Hilltop Guild Bazaar

The End of The Season

The Gift of Time

The Beavers

Addresses [1987]


Watching the Trees Grow

Postal Rates

Changes in Estes Park

Square Dancing at the Pow Wow

Back to the Hilltop Guild Bazaar

The Solstices

Bird Feeders


The Estes Park Hardware Store [1988]


Limousine Service

A Memorial Service

A Hummingbird


A Hiking Trip

The Estes Park Public Library

Wild Life

Riparian Rights [1989]




Mountain Friendliness

A Motorcycle Trip

Satellite Television

“Weaving Mountain Memories”

Hotel Rates in the Old Days

The Price of Propane [1990]

The Front Range Almanac


Modes of Transportation

Miller Moths

My 50th Column

Modern Conveniences

Rock Climbing

On the Death of Otto Walter, Postmaster

Otto’s Memorial Service

A Big Owl Pot-Luck Dinner

A Whine About Telephone Service [1991]

After the Persian Gulf War

Some Changes in the WIND

The Trip to the Mountains

The Mountains in the Summer


Of Dogs, Music, and Children

Muhlenburg County

To My Grandson

The Sale of Longs Peak Inn

World War II  [1992]

Murphy’s Law and the Computer

The South St. Vrain Canyon


The Hazards of Volunteering

Crime in Our Valley


On the Death of Charles Eagle Plume

Can We All Get Along?

A Partridge in a Pear Tree

Lost Horizon [1993]


Rumors About a Visit by the Pope


More About Fences


The Visit of Pope John Paul II

Forest Fires

The New Sewage System

The Snow Pool

The Good Old Days [1994]

The WIND’s 20th Anniversary

The Bunce School

The Shooting Gallery

The Estes Park Museum

Our Government

U.S. West Takes a Hit

The Year of the Hummingbirds

A New “Yield” Sign

Growth in Allenspark

Private Telephones?

The Salvation Army

Creation Science [1995]

Devolutionizing Big Government



Fort D.A. Russell

Domestic Terrorism

Old and New

Barney Graves

Life in the Wilderness

What’s In a Name?

Arthur C. Clarke


The Estes Park Trail-Gazette Columns:

July 1983


Estes Cone

Johnny Grant

Observations in Estes Park

The Bath House


The Sutherland’s Ice House

How Old is Charles Eagle Plume?


Christmas Trees

Tree Murder

Mountain Driving


Mail Boxes

More About Mail Boxes

“Are you related to ....?”


An Accident

The Wild Cat

A July Reunion

A Visit to Baldpate Inn

Opening Cabins


The Times, They Have Changed

Death and Transfiguration

The Population Explosion

The March of Time

Faith-Based Social Services

Looking for Pitch

Recent Writings I

Recent Writings II

Recent Writings III

Recent Writings IV

Recent Writings V

Recent Writings VI



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