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We are blessed to have many loving family and friends in the Midwest and the East. So each Christmas, boxes arrive from afar filled with gifts for us and our children. This means a lot of packaging and wrapping and Styrofoam popcorn stuff. Also, we do a lot of entertaining and cooking around the holidays. By the time all the presents are unpacked and unwrapped, the food is eaten and the beverages are poured, there is a lot of waste to be discarded and recycled. Add this to the regular weekly household waste output, and the city-issued waste receptacle supply is overwhelmed.

(At this point, it’s important to note that every Sunday I myself clean out our cats’ litter box, as this is one of the solemn personal duties of the San Diego City Council President. I urge my council colleagues to take note of this as they make their plans for 2008.)

Anyway, my wife likes order, and the extra trash sends her into a tizzy. We need to order more trash cans, she insists. This is a crisis that has to be solved NOW. I say no, the actuary always predicts this trash surge at holiday time and over two or three weeks if we save our trash and invest it wisely into the black-and-blue receptacles as capacity becomes available, we will surely survive. All the other families are having the same challenges.

Well, as predicted, we disposed of the trash and I recycled my last boxes this week. It’s all about planning well, sticking to the plan and staying calm. Just don’t go into the garage.

SCOTT PETERS

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