There are many situations short of a nuclear attack when routine garbage collections will be disrupted. Floods, hurricanes, fires.
This is the time when you really have to watch your garbage disposal habits. Even if you don't recycle during normal times, in a situation where there is no garbage pick-up you should immediately start enforcing disposal rules.
If there is a water shortage or a potential water shortgage, stop rinsing out cans.
Reduction in garbage volume is essential. Squash and flatten all cans (you may lose the deposit), all milk cartons flat and all cardboard boxes.
Separate all garbage that can rot and decay and segregate. Keep this in a plastic bag that can be sealed. Place the bag in a container that can be closed.
If possible, discuss this issue with your neighbors to avoid the entire street being lined with garbage bags that will not be picked up.
If there is a community living situation, such as an evacuation encampment, a camp-wide policy has to be adopted with simple clear rules for everyone.
Make sure there are trash receptacles through out the camp and a daily "police" of community areas at a specified time. This is a good activity for kids (under supervision). The children (or adults) form a long line and walk slowly, picking up paper, trash, cans and debri as they go. The participants are selected and put on a roster.
Consider storing bags in your backyard until regular pick-ups resume.
What happens is that "trash-pickers" will show up, rip open the bags on the street at night and strew the street and sidewalk with all your garbage. The best way to avoid this is to keep the bags with garbage that does not rot in a secured area.
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