You can tell a lot about someone by the empties they dump on to the sorting counter at the bottle depot. Even the way in which their empties arrive helps to paint a picture about that person.
The other day there was the middle class sports fan in his early 30s: tall, clad in jeans, shiny black dress shoes and a plain charcoal wool coat who’s obviously married with a young child at home.
He has a mix of Coke cans and assorted beer cans, the majority being Kokanee. I assume the off-label and biker beer brands are what his guests bring over, probably his friends who aren’t as worried about their appearances regarding the consumption of brand-named products as this fellow is.
There’s a ton of green 1 litre San Pellegrino bottles, and a few 2 litre cartons of whole milk. He only has two garbage bags worth of empties, bags which he does not take home to reuse–must live in the ‘burbs.
I watched him unload the bottles from the trunk of his black sedan, and noted that the car was immaculate. I suspect his garage and home are in the same condition. Being just north of downtown, and judging by his attire, I assume he’s unloading his bottles on his way home after work, as it is an early Friday afternoon.
The car seat with the yellowish lace blanket in the back seat of the sedan gave away the young child. I wonder if the car seat was bought or gifted while the sex of the baby was unknown, because it was the colour of urine, which also seems to be the colour of choice if you’re playing it on the safe side.
To the other side of me is a lady in her 40s who must work in a school or daycare with children, maybe collecting money for her class for a field trip or some group activity; perhaps teachers get paid worse than, say, journos and she’s pocketing it herself.
She dumps out three clear, commercial-sized garbage bags of juice boxes with the straws still in them and an equal number of 250 mL milk cartons of an assorted variety. It would seem 2% and chocolate are the most popular kinds.
Careful not to let anything touch her bluish floral-pattern dress with a thick black belt wrapped over top, I can’t help wonder why she’s doing this and not an employee of the Calgary Board of Education or parent volunteer. And where the proceeds of this collection are going continues to boggle my mind.
My inquisitive gaze was met by hers and I smiled and focused my attention on the floor, where I asked myself if her heeled shoes were sticking to the floor like my loafers were. I should have asked her, but I don’t like talking to people I don’t know.
Recycling bottles sucks.
Bottle depots are stinky, dirty and grubby: it’s one of the few places I’d just assume never have to go. As such, mine don’t get returned until my storage room is on the verge of overflowing . . . about twice a year.
My empties are neatly placed in boxes, stacked about four feet high, washed out with the lids already removed, sorted by type and refund amount ($0.10, $0.25; cans, bottles, tetra pak, 2 litres, etc.)
It’s a very OCD-like process for me (honestly, though, everything seems to be.)
As I don’t drink pop or milk, the majority of my empties are beer bottles, club soda cans, unsweetened almond milk containers and the odd juice container. $25 and change worth this time around.
I wonder what others think about me when I show up with my empties?