Tuesday, June 02, 2009

My Recycling Attempt

When I was a kid, we would stake out territories for aluminum can recycling. I think I got one garbage can in the house and my brother got a can in the shop, and my other brother probably got the outside garbage can. I remember all three of us would load up the car with our individual trash bags of aluminum for recycling, maybe once a month or so. We could keep the money from our efforts, so it felt really rewarding to get between $2 and $5 per trash bag of cans.

We started recycling when we moved into this house. We have the blue recycling trash can, so we would throw our cans, plastic and glass bottles into it and wheel it out whenever it was full. Of course, our back porch was always packed with empty recyclables until we made the time to fill the can. A couple months ago, Andrew had the bright idea to sort our recyclables. The people who pilfer the garbage cans on trash day eve would probably leave our cans alone if they knew we didn't put anything of value in them. We set up boxes for cardboard and newsprint, plastic bottles and containers, and aluminum and glass. We had this idea that we could take our glass and aluminum to the local recycler and make some moolah.

Our internet was out over the weekend, so we found we had the time to see if the experiment paid off. We separated our aluminum (2 cans, some foil wads and a Jiffy Pop pan) from our glass (about 50 beer bottles, 3 pickle jars, 3 spaghetti sauce jars and a Jack Daniels bottle). The aluminum wouldn't even fill a plastic grocery bag so we threw it in our blue can. We filled two kitchen garbage bags with the bottles and headed to the plant. I figured that if we made at least $5, it was worth 20 minutes of our lives.

I now understand why people steal grocery carts and haunt the streets for recyclables. We got $2.50 for all that glass. Wow. We may continue taking our glass to the recycler, but only when we have at least 50 bottles. The rest is too much sugar for a nickel.

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