I live in an old but very green part of Amsterdam, very close to the historic center, but evenly close to parks and nature, almost near the edge of our town. This is just a very nice walking lane next to a playground around the corner from my block. Now, first I want to tell you something about the trash system in my neighbourhood.
Across the road at the end of my street, is a fairly new group of blocks that were built around ten years ago. They call it the eco-friendly neighbourhood because in between the blocks no cars are allowed. There are only footpaths and lots of green. Around it are underground trash collection points where people can dump their bags in anytime, so they don't have to wait for trash night, next to the more traditional containers for paper and glass.
Over time, when more old buildings were torn down and replaced by new luxury apartment blocks, more of the underground collection points were placed in other parts of my neighbourhood, provided there's enough place for them. But there will always be enough traditional collection points that can only be used on trash night in the older narrower streets. These are simply blue iron poles placed around 50 meters apart in every street where people can leave all bags and bulk trash. They make the work of the trash men a bit easier as they don't have to stop in front of each door or go look behind parked cars. Even though you'd think the underground containers take most trash from the sight of pickers, it's unbelievable what collects around them on trash night. Often they're full by then, but on trash night people place everything that doesn't pass through the openings, like bulk trash but also boxes with small goods, around them. In fact they've proved to provide us with some of our best finds.
Now let me take you outside with me and take you on a tour to show you some of our favourite shopping spots. In daytime that is, because my camera is useless in the dusk and who wants to see piles of trash anyway?
From there on it's back home via various routes. All in all it's been a walk of about three quarters of an hour, only if we linger or find something great that I have to go pick up a cart for it takes up to an hour and we hardly ever go more far. I sometimes still can't believe how much we find in such a small area!