I don’t have my trash picked up. Don’t worry, I’m no hoarder. Like any boy, I have always had a strange fascination with garbage trucks and like to see them crunch stuff to bits. It’s just that our county built a recycling center a mile from our house and I can carry my own trash there and pay fifty cents a bag.
Better than the savings, I get to put all my own stuff into dumpsters to be recycled – including glass. While I drop the aluminum, cardboard, and plastic, I throw the glass as if I am a closer trying to mop up the last batter of the World Series. Sometimes I throw it so hard it disintegrates in mid-air! I look for big, unbroken wine jugs to hurl my jars into so the explosion is MAGNIFIED! It never gets old.
On any given Saturday, you can find a few old men standing idly around the glass bin watching the action. They’ll compliment a good shot and give the stink-eye to the poor soul who can’t break his bottle. And, oh the jeering they give the slacker who just flops his recycling in with no attempt to pulverize.
A few months ago, there was a pack of boy scouts who must have been doing community service. Of course, most were hovering around the glass bin begging for projectiles then hooting and hollering with every shot. One little fellow must have been stationed with paper because he stood dejectedly beside the quietest bin in the place.
I had a few magazines to deposit, but took a little something extra his way. It was an odd feeling holding out a brown bottle to a minor, but I wish you could have seen his eyes light up. He knew paper was his job, but didn’t turn down the gift and hustled across the way to the glass bin with an excited swagger. The scouts parted as he proudly lifted the bottle and promptly missed the entire dumpster. I have no idea how that happened, it was kind of a ‘broad side of the barn’ miss that immediately let on why he had been relegated to paper. Poor kid.
He lowered his head and began the walk of shame back to the non-breakable.
Good thing I had a box full. I doled them out one by one and he broke the rest until I had no more.
This past Saturday I had to go early and the place was nearly empty save an elderly couple recycling together. They were so cute – kind of a ‘those who recycle together, stay together’ thing. They separated – she walked to paper while he took a large box the other direction. His load seemed heavy and I offered to help but was quickly rebuffed.
“You kidding me? I’ve been saving up,” he replied as he lifted his first salvo out.
I couldn’t help smiling as a watched him hurl bottle after bottle to their demise. When he ran out of ammo, he winked at me, patted my back and said, “It never gets old,” before returning slowly to his car where his wife rolled her eyes.
Women may never understand, but he’s right, it never gets old.
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Photo credit to spDuchamp under the creative common license