New Year’s Resolution – FUCK Recycling!

As I’ve reached “outer middle age” I’ve gotten quite a bit more frugal; back in the day, I used to spend money like a Viking on Shore Leave.

As part of the “new me”, I have been saving our cans and bottles and NOT putting them out in the Recycling bin every Friday; akin to “throwing money to the Four Winds”, as dear old Dad would have said.

When I get ~$15.00 worth, I drive ‘em down ¾’s mile to the Recycling Center, where THEORETICALLY, I can quickly, simply, and easily “feed” the cans and bottles through the conveyor system, at the end of which time, it spits me out a “chit” for $XX.XX, which I can use for goods at the conveniently-located grocery—THEORETICALLY…

Now, here’s the REALITY; to wit: I drive down there last Friday—no Recycling Kiosk! There’s a dude there with a tractor trailer and a “Planet Earth” sign on the side, so me being the clever fella that I AM, I enquire. “Oh yeah, they’re moving it back behind the Staples, check back on Saturday. $1.00 of fuel and 20 minutes of my time gone…

Saturday—drive BACK down—no kiosk! $1.00 of fuel and 15 minutes of my time gone, plus two HUGE Contractor Bags of cans and bottles that will now REMAIN in the back of my SUV, making delightful noises everywhere ELSE I drive until TUESDAY, since that’s the next time the fuckin’ Recycling Center is open for bidness. Add $5.00 worth of Scotch whiskey consumption into my “cost to date” of THIS round of recycling…

Tuesday (today)—drive BACK down—Recycling Center open for bidness! And I’m “next in line”; great, right? Not so fast:


See this guy? This guy, one of the ARMY of homeless scavengers that live here in SoCal, is ahead of me with FOUR of those blue bins chock FULL of fucked up, gnarly, bent to shit cans & bottles.

Now here’s the thing—that fancy automated system absolutely REQUIRES that the cans & bottles are “clean & straight” before it accepts them. And here’s a guy who’s in NO HURRY WHATSOEVER to get back to his spot under the Freeway, trying to straighten out EACH & EVERY one of these fuckin’ cans & bottles—FUCK ME!

FIFTY MINUTES LATER, my turn; I step up to the machine, feed THREE fuckin’ cans in it, and it QUITS!

Oh yeah—did I mention that only ONE of the two conveyors is even “in service”?

“The left one is too close to that Fire Door”, the attendant (whose job is basically to do NOTHING except to keep people like Dick Jones from PUMMELING THE ENTIRE FUCKING RECYCLING CENTER INTO DUST in frustration) says to me. “So why did you even PUT this kiosk so close to it then?” Of course, my question goes unanswered…

As I try to push the growing aneurysm bulge back down on my forehead, I drag my two bags over to Mr. Under The Freeway dweller—“It’s your lucky day, pal—you just hit the Powerball!” I tell him as I walk off, vowing to NEVER EVER in a MILLION FUCKIN’ YEARS return and try to cash in my cans & bottles. I can’t WAIT to crush ‘em all up into little piles and put ‘em out in my blue bin there in front of my house every Friday—is 11:30AM too soon to start drinking?


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