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I guess this would fall under the financial preparedness/dumpster diving category. So who among us would take a nickel ($0.05 USD) out of your pocket and throw it in the garbage?

I grew up in MI where beverage can/bottle deposits were $0.10/container and you NEVER found containers in the trash. You could go walking along country roads and find beer cans tossed in the grass but that is from people drinking in their cars and not wanting to get caught with open containers. My girlfriend at the time and I would go for walks along the road with a garbage bag and almost always come back with $2-3 in cans! We got exercise, spent time together, cleaned up the countryside, helped the environment and made some money at the same time!

Where I live now on the east coast, people throw cans/bottles away like they are fingernail clippings! I walked past a "refuse/recycling center" at work yesterday and found 2 cans with $0.05 return sitting right on top of the garbage. I've been to gatherings where people go for the garbage rather than the recycling bin provided.

First off, I find it bewildering that anyone would throw away $0.05. Secondly, all they had to do was place the cans in the aluminum recycling container on the left to prevent this item from going to the landfill even if they didn't want the $0.05. I just found the whole thing to be ignorant and wasteful. At least I made $0.10 for doing nothing and the can return is at the grocery or beer store anyway! It isn't like you have to make an extra trip anywhere!
 

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Reminds me of a funny story. I was about 14, mom, dad and I were headed to town. My mom yelled "STOP the truck"! Dad stopped the truck. Trace get out and get that can! 13 miles and an hour later, we finally get to town! As I think about it... the madder I got, the more my dad enjoyed it! Thanks for jolting a funny memory out of my brain, I really need to laugh a little more these days!!
 

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Aluminum is way down here. Someone said that it was getting close to being only 20 cents a pound. That being said, I still save all cans at my place. I keep a grocery bag on the back door handle, and then toss the little bags into big trash bags in the garage. Gotta haul the bags out to the recycling plant, but usually I come back with 20 bucks after about 6 months, and two truck beds full of cans. That money, all actual change, and a splurge of "extra" cash every month, go into a college account for the kiddo.
 

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My buddy and I ran out of gas one evening in my van and pulled into a rest stop to wait till morning to hitch in for gas, only problem was we were broke. In the morning I just happened to look over at the trash can and some nice sole had deposited a whole sack of empty returnable bottles in it. My buddy hitched into town with a sack of bottles, got money off the bottles and enough gas to get us into town. Them days gas was around $.75 a gal.
 

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Not only do I NOT recycle cans and bottles for cash, I PAY to have our recycling picked up curbside.

Colorado doesn't have a per bottle price, but you can recycle aluminum for money per pound. I'm not sure exactly what the price is, but I think the cost in gas driving to the scrap metal recycler would be greater than the payment for the aluminum.

I do recycle everything I can though. We typically have more recycle than trash. It would be nice if I could get a few bucks for everything.
 

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Simple.

Time is money.

I collect cans when I'm going about my regular business, but I wouldn't go out of my way or actually invest time going around picking them up.

A full garbage bag of cans will net you around $5.00.

You could spend the better part of a day and maybe get a full bag, depending on location.


Is it worth it to you to walk around for hours in the heat/cold/wind to pick up dirty cans for five bucks?

I sure as hell wouldn't.

Even a street bum panhandling makes more than that in a few hours.
 

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Happiness is 2 at low 8
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Where I am all the "trash" goes to the incinerator where the metal cans are sorted out and recycled, and everything burnable is used to generate electricity. They do NOT go to the landfill...

Allan
 

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DIY RPG's
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me and my buds drink a lot of beer on the weekend either at his house or mine and i always take the cans/bottles. because first he has no trash pick up "lives in country" and if here well duh i save them twice a month nets around 20 bucks oh and my bud next door gives me his bottles and cans as well
 

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There is an older retired gentleman in my neighborhood who walks around each block once a week and picks up aluminum cans. He actually walks carrying a big bag. We save ours for him and just put them in a bag and hand them on our fence.

We recycle anyway, and I'd rather he get what-ever he can out of them to help supplement his income. He has a great deal of my respect because he refuses to panhandle.
 

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At least I made $0.10 for doing nothing and the can return is at the grocery or beer store anyway! It isn't like you have to make an extra trip anywhere!
That's really dependent on where you live. I've lived in NJ, OH, and CA, and I've never lived anywhere where stores have those recycling returns, even if I wanted to go out of my way. I've used them in upstate NY on vacation though, so I know what you're talking about, and they're very convenient. We always saved cans and took them in, because why wouldn't you?

About 3/4 of my garbage now is recycling, so I think I'm doing my part as far as the environmental issues go. I'm required to recycle by law though and I don't get reimbursed for any of it. It's not a big deal (it would be trash to me anyway), but somehow it doesn't seem fair that I have to take an extra step to hand over my raw material waste for free so that a publicly traded company can make a profit off of it (Waste Management, Inc. - WMI on the NYSE - currently $29.65/share). Not only that, I have to pay for the trash and recycling pickup, even though I live in an apartment. It's lumped together with the water and sewer fees...water I understand but I can't even poop for free.
 
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