Saturday, May 12, 2012

Recycle young man, Recycle!

On this Saturday morning, I loaded one station wagon trunk full of recyclables with

  • One garbage bag full of aluminum cans
  • Two garbage bags full of plastic bottles
  • One 20 gallon tub overflowing with glass wine and beer bottles. 

to Schnitzer Steel, the local recycling center. Among the hippy recycler, the boy scout earning his recycling badge, and the dumpster diving homeless guy I tippy toed between the glass fragments and handed in my green gold. Or so I thought.

The 6 lbs of PET products resulted in $6. The 43 lbs of glass bottles will be ground into glass particles worth only $4.52. Most valuable were the aluminum cans, at $1.57/lbs (without coupon that is): 3.4lbs worth $5.34. Total tally for a trip to the recycling center: $15.88.

That is before income taxes! Indeed, this income may be taxable. Although if you bought the bottles and paid CRV originally, it doesn't make much sense to consider this income.

It also doesn't make much sense to grind the glass bottles, where as they could be sanitized and reused.

There is one chuckle in all this: since the kids get all the recycle money, they are glad to poor me another glass of wine or open up a beer. Preferably a strong Belgian beer, as the beer bottles are larger and heavier. Cheers!

Some interesting recycling statistics from the little house in the valley and the BBC on Belgium's rubbish solution.