Field Trip: Minneapolis Transfer Station

How does a visit to a garbage dump connect with wordworking? It takes just one visit looking around at what is being thrown away and realizing the amount of time and materials spent on doors, windows and furniture that is now just considered junk.

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Here is your guided tour for a successful visit to the Minneapolis South Transfer Station.

First off, call and request a voucher. Make sure you describe the category of the items you will be bringing. You do not want to show up with a tire if you did not say you will be bringing a tire. Prepare your load correctly.

Upon arrival you will notice several things.

First, you are not the only person who will be using the facility.

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Second, there a lots of rules and lots of signs explaining these rules.



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Finally, although the transfer station is located next to the bucolic and historic Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery you do not want to linger. Treat your visit like an Eastern-bloc border crossing during the Cold War. Be polite, show proper identification and proceed as directed. This is not the place to show off your snarky wit.

Do take a quick glance at the impressive smokestack. The shadow on this maps helps the convey the size.


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As you dump your stuff, you will see the detritus of contemporary America. Could many of these items be reused? Of course. This leads to the inevitable question – how many of my creations will end up on this pile?

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