Monday, April 22, 2019

Recycling redemption one nickel at a time

0 clever quips
recycling bottle at redemption machine

My first job in the workforce focused on profiling and segregation.

I spent much of my 16th year in the dank underground of a supermarket, determining whether the bottles and cans returned for a nickel deposit really came from our store. Those that didn’t were pitched in the trash; those that did were separated by material and color then stacked or bagged for recycling.

Nothing felt physically good about this work. Certainly not the sticky soda residue that inevitably coated my skin and clothes or the stench of stale beer that remained in my nasal membranes for hours past quitting time. However, it was somewhat satisfying psychologically. I was literally on the  basement floor of a burgeoning environmental and financial movement. Our state's “bottle bill” had been in place only a few years at the time and already a difference could be seen. Fewer empties lined our state’s roadsides replaced by garbage-bag-toting fortune seekers.


My Uncool Past