Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Lemon Juice
Originally uploaded by absolutely small

When I was a little kid, I saw my dad's habit of hoarding bottles and cans for months as smart, and earth friendly. I was especially in it's favor when he offered to split the proceeds with me if I would help him crush the aluminum cans and take them to the recycling place with him. Ways for an 8 year old to make money tend to be limited. Stomp, stomp, stomp.
We'd hop in the truck and drive for miles in the heat to some horrifying smelling place in the middle of nowhere, loud with the sounds of hundreds of pounds of beer bottles being transferred from one container to another. After all the sorting and weighing, I'd be presented with $4.87. Wow! $4.87! I can buy SO MUCH STUFF with this! Like...candy!
My dad still hoards bottles and cans, taking them to the recyclers every so often. He stores them in 5 gallon paint buckets and trash cans. They are delightful to look at.
"Don't toss those bottles out!" He'd say whenever visiting.
"We're not throwing them out, Dad, they'll be picked up by the garbage guys to be recycled."
"Don't you want the money?"
"Uh...I don't really want to go to the recyclers."
"Well then, save them for me."
Being a good daughter, I did. I wound up with bags of recycling in my pantry after all.
When we moved into the new coop, the old lady had left behind years worth of recycling. Maybe there was something to be said about this recycling after all. Score! I thought. We'll make some money off of this house yet! I too began to hoard the bottles and cans, for months. Delightfully overflowing garbage bags adorned our back porch, until I couldn't take it anymore and took them to the recyclers.
45 minutes of feeding bottle after bottle after bottle into an automated machine while talking to the guy who worked there about his son's art education later, I had made...$8.05!
$8.05? I kept bags of garbage on my porch for months for $8.05? I made a special trip and wasted a bunch of time to shoot the breeze with a guy for $8.05? We looked like alcoholics with a hoarding problem for $8.05?
All the cans are gone now, and our porch has never looked better. We'll by all means keep recycling...but no more hoarding cans for cash, thank you.

1 comment:

Lemon Shortbread said...

ooh interesting! your rates aren't too bad compared to here! we get paid nothing. the recycling company collects it monthly for free though! btw your workspace is so wonderful I'd hug your walls if I was there lol


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