Saturday, March 5, 2011

Recycle Everything, But Not One Can For Crackheads!

Photo and blog post by John Hoff

Regular readers know what a fanatical recycler I am. I actually dry out used tea bags, rip them open, and throw the used up tea grounds into my flower beds or (if I am at my girlfriend's house) in her flower bed. My girlfriend Megan has become accustomed to the fact her windowsill will constantly be full of tea bags that are drying out.

Despite the fact I recycle almost everything, there is one item I won't place in my recycling bins. And, oddly enough, it's one of the most recyclable items of all...

Aluminum cans! I make sure they get recycled, but I won't set them out with the other recyclables. I don't want crackheads and alcoholic chronic inebriates getting cans out of my bins and using the cans to support their habit. So I make a point of saving the cans back and giving them to worthy can-collecting causes or even (worse case scenario) throwing the cans in the trunk of my car and making sure to drop them off at a state rest stop.

You know how folks have those We Watch, We Call signs? I think that's great. Let's all watch and call 911 and 311.

And lots of folks have "Please don't litter" signs. I have one of those, on the rear of my garage, overlooking my recycle bins right where the crackheads would dig through the bins. This reminds the crackheads to clean up after themselves, and not to litter. So that's good.

But I'd like to have another little standardized sign--or maybe stickers!--which I could affix to the top of my recycle bins.

The signs would say:

NOT ONE CAN FOR CRACKHEADS.



11 comments:

Janice said...

Thank god someone finally took up this issue. I'm sick of the homeless picking through my recycling, pulling out the cans and leaving the rest strewn around. I'd like to have them arrested for damage to property and littering.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

Call me the next time you're making a metal-recycling run and I'll give you my stuff too.

veg*nation said...

hey, it sounds like you guys need a compost bin! it's much easier than drying your teabags!maybe it's the kind of thing that could be gotten through freecycle? i will make you an offer: if you can find someone who will freecycle a compost bin for a kombucha scoby, i will put up the kombucha scoby :-)

Andrew said...

I don't know Johnny. Anecdotally speaking, the regular guys that come down my alley every week on their bikes are pretty cool and respectful. I've even gotten to know them a little better, especially over the summers. They may have addiction issues of some sort, I've never asked, but they're always polite and coherent. It's tough times out there. However, I would be pissed too if I constantly had to pick up after them.

bk said...

Hmmm ... drunk people are looking through my recycling?! I hope they don't judge me by all of the PBR cans. Maybe that's why they laugh at me as they bike down the alley

Anonymous said...

I have an elderly Asian Woman that picks up the cans in my neighborhood, I am leery of labeling all people that pick up the cans are drug addicts.

Daniil said...

I am just sick and tired of all the mess that they leave in the alleys. If they put all the other recyclables back i won't care, but those rats throw everything out. They also urinate in the alleys at will.

Johnny Northside! said...

You know what I wrote in my dumpster diving book: leave the area CLEANER than you found it.

But, I have to say, what I really care about is NOT feeding the addiction or encouraging the presence of crackheads. I don't care if they leave it cleaner, more dirty, whatever.

I just want the crackheads to go away and I think NOT ONE CAN FOR CRACKHEADS is a way to start.

If somebody will go to the trouble of making me stickers I will put them all over my recycle bins but, as you know, I'm rather tied up in court at the moment.

Johnny Northside! said...

Spam comment rejected, some kind of "recycle your cell phone" website.

Kale said...

I was a bit upset when community members took cans out of my recycling. Then I asked the lady why? She lost her job at Target (13 years) and said she was to proud to get assistance from the county. Maybe you should ask folks why they are doing what they are doing, your perspective may change. Just a thought....

I still get money off my utility bill every month, cans or no cans!

Anonymous said...

There must be different pickers circulating some neighborhoods because I never seem to have a problem (except the time someone grabbed a two-wheeler I left outside the garage).

First, if you are sorting your recyclables like you should, there is no reason for anyone to dig through your garbage.

Most of these guys are trying to do the best they can to get by in the real world and are NOT drunks and drug addicts.

Picking enough cans to support a drug habit would be too time consuming for an addictive personality. Those guys prefer to steal high value items for a quick buck.

Pickers are pretty exposed when working their way through the alleys. If there were a high percentage of drug addicts among them, you would think the Police would do a few drug sweeps? Of course they don't have the services to deal with what they might collect.

Maybe if the city would institute a sensible recycling program that collected bulk materials, these pickers could get decent jobs at the recycling centers so they wouldn't have to wander the alleys!