So after deciding that if I am going to write articles about things in our lives that have an environmental impact, I would be a level 7 Paladin hypocrite if I didn’t do something to pitch in myself. So next to my trashcan I put a smaller trash can for “recyclables”, and twice a week I drag it out to the city provided bin behind my house and dump it. I began to feel like I was doing my part. Until last night, that is…
I made my normal trip to the bin at the end of my driveway, when I lifted the recycling bin lid I was greeted by what I can only describe as the largest and angriest possum ever to scuttle the planet. A scream exited my body, that I can’t reproduce if I wanted to, that was somewhere in the pitch range between a 6 year-old girl and some species of tree-dwelling rainforest monkey. I’m pretty sure there was a couple of seconds that only the neighborhood dogs could hear. The bag of glass bottles and cans was wind milled and ejected into the alley as I ran back to the house at a speed that belied my age and size.
The next morning in the safety of the morning sun I found myself somewhat shamefully cleaning up my mess from my minor moment of possum weakness. As I collected the shards of bottles scattered across my driveway, I noticed something I never paid attention to. On the bottom of almost every bottle was raised lettering that said “CA CRV 5 cents”. It never occurred to me that the glass bottles that I was throwing away were worth anything, and apparently they are … In California.
“Well, heck yeah!” I thought, “I’m sitting on a gold mine here just in beer cans, malt liquor bottles, and plastic crabmeat containers.” It was time to make Lamborghini money. I made plans right that minute to go and rent a box truck, empty every recycling bin on my block into it, buy some road snacks (which are essential), and head west. Then I remembered that Kramer had this same idea on Seinfeld, and I vaguely remembered that it didn’t work out as planned. Not wanting to end up on an episode of “World’s Dumbest Recyclers”, I decided to do a little research before I rented my box truck. The road snacks would have to wait.
Boy was I glad for the Internet that day. Turns out that even in my state where there is no “Bottle Bill” like there is in California, taking anything out of a recycling bin is against the law. It’s illegal even if it’s my bin, let alone anyone within a respectable box truck driving distance around me. “Okay, I’ll just save up my own stuff”, I decided. “It’ll take longer to buy that Lamborghini, but good things come to those who wait”.