Recycling Aluminum Cans for Money AND Love.

I have fond memories of when I was a kid out collecting aluminum cans.  I used to walk the ditches behind my grandparent's house because they lived on a busy road.  Back then (late 70's/early 80's) it seemed like everyone was no big deal.  I would find pretty much anything you could imagine tossed in those ditches.  Lots & lots of empty beer cans as drinking and driving was pretty much the norm.  I started a beer can collection and probably had about 50 different cans that were pretty cool.  Some cans were made out of tin and some from this new fangled aluminum can.  The aluminum ones would be tossed into my giant Hefty bag after crushing them with a good stomp.  I would keep gathering cans all summer and toss them into an old giant metal drum that my dad had behind our shed.  I don't remember how much money I used to get when we eventually took the cans in for recycling but I do remember how excited I would be when we we driving to the recycling place.  MONEY, MONEY, MONEY.  I couldn't wait.  I probably recycled cans until I was about 13yrs old, then it just didn't seem cool anymore.

Time lapse to 2009.  During a beer drinking session with my neighbor, I commented on how ridiculous it was that we threw all our cans in the recycling bin to be picked up every week AND we paid for this privilege.  The recycling company made money from the monthly fee and they also made money off of those aluminum cans.  Hello, Bueller...Bueller.  The next day I grabbed a big old Hefty bag and started tossing in our empty beer cans (and soda).  I then went out and bought one of those nifty (and fun) wall mounted can crushers.  The kids couldn't wait for the next empty can, they loved to crush.  I saved cans for about a year until I just got tired of looking at the eye-sore of big black bags sitting by my wood pile.  I took the cans to the local recycling plant and they kindly gave my $30.  I went right over to the grocery store and picked my "free" (minus my $30) two cases of beer.  What a country!  Free beer.....well not really, but it felt like it.  So now when my wife asks if I've been drinking, I just reply:  No, I was out recycling.