Friday, July 29, 2011

Is recycling aluminum cans worth it ?

In the summertime I lose my half of our garage to bikes, the lawnmower, scooters, swim stuff, stroller(s), and other assorted "stuff."  Among the "stuff" collected this summer were over a dozen full-sized plastic trash bags, filled to the brim with aluminum cans.  Most of these came from my parent's house (where soda is almost always readily available ... but they do drink plenty of water too so don't be judging them!)  Probably 2-3 of the bags were from our house (where soda is a popular drink quite often too!)

On Thursday, once the lawn was mowed and the grass fertilized heavily AGAIN (those weeds are just not dying!), I folded the back seats of our van down and (after carefully laying a blanket down to avoid messing up the carpet) loaded up ALL of these bags of cans.  It was NOT easy, but I did get them all to fit and nothing was touching anything other than the blanket or the windows.

The goal was to take the cans to a recycling place that afternoon ... but apparently, they close at 4:30pm ... which we found out as we drove up to the gate and saw the "closed" sign.  It is at least 20 minutes away, probably more.

So today Karen and I finally reclaimed the back of our van from the explosion of cans.  It was a new experience for us, hefting the bags out and then tearing them open to shake all the cans loose and down onto this conveyer belt that drops them in a big scale, which measures the weight, which tells the owners of the place how much to pay you for the materials being recycled.  Kinda cool.  A little weird.  LOUD as all get out!  Dirty, dirty, dirty!  But also, very fun (except trying to get one single can out of a triple-bagged mess of plastic!)

I didn't notice the number on the scale until the one guy told the other guy to "zero it out" for the next customers (they had 3 pounds of cans).  The cashier said "You've got 71 pounds today.  That'll be $42.50."  For a split second I thought I owed him that much ... then it hit me!  SCORE !!!  $43 bucks for 15 bags of "junk" ?!  SAH-WEET !!!  No more peanut butter and jelly for lunch this week!  :)

Moral of the story:  Sometimes doing the "right" thing IS very rewarding!



  1. FA-BU-LOUS!! I'm so glad that my soda addiction can actually be beneficial to others! Yes, doing the "right" thing is often rewarding, but sometimes doing the "wrong" thing can help benefit others. Um, kind of a messed up moral there now that I think about it!