Photo of the Week: Lomtalanítás or Trash Day

2011-09-23 12.28.15

Only in Budapest will you spot a broken toilet hanging out on the side of a major boulevard and not think twice. In fact, further down the street, there is a fridge available to go with the toilet. But what is it doing there and why does no one care?

Piles of trash are accumulated at the curb twice a year due to something called lomtalanítás. The dates are announced by district and each district will have a different collection time. Those living in the particular district can put out anything broken or items they no longer want on the curb and the city will come around and pick it up. This, of course, presents ample opportunity for others to rummage through the piles in hopes of getting lucky. Think Storage Wars, Auction Hunters or Storage Hunters, but with free and mostly broken items.

I think this is a pretty cool concept. Imagine if the city came to take up all your broken and useless items. You don’t have to worry about taking your things to the dump or finding new homes for items. It does make the streets really messy and a bit dangerous (check out that broken glass above!). Not to mention the crazies dumpster diving (minus the dumpster!) the piles for interesting trinkets. I can’t see this working any where else other than Budapest though. This is truly unique to the Hungarians.

Read more about this here, and here.