July 5, 2011

Drinking for dollars

OK, OK. For pesos! And I don't drink from all the cans I recycle! But the notion of collecting cans for recycling has become an obsession of sorts with me. I don't just so it for my carbon foot print that I want to be smaller, although one of the scrap aluminum websites says why you should:
"Recycling is the perfect use for aluminum because it can be reprocessed and used again and again. It does not lose its structural qualities when reprocessed, and will not decompose for about 400 years. Also, it is exceedingly cost effective: it takes only 5 percent of the energy required to make new aluminum from mined bauxite, and needs only about 10 percent of the capital equipment for producing primary aluminum."
When I leave the house, I don't like to return with fewer than 3 cans a day. Punta helps me find them. Friends on vacation donate them. My guests aren't permitted to have glass bottles on the roof because of the pool and subsequent guests.
I tell then to either bag the aluminum and set it aside or put it along the side of the trash barrel, which in effect becomes a tip. At the end of the day, a trash collector can double his pay!
I invested in a can crusher, made in Mexico, bought on eBay, sent to Jen, muled by Leah! So, they are stake holders too!
Personally, I like Modelo family cans. They weigh more and take crushing well. Sol cans splinter, don't fold right and don't weigh much. CocaCola products are just fine!
Yes, Mexico teaches you to be thrifty. I am not alone here. I watched my neighbors, the family of a teacher and many working adults, built three apartments onto the main house with cans. All members of the family would collect them, the grandmother would crush them, and when she sold a couple trash bags full to the recycler.
There are people without jobs here who walk the streets before the trash trucks some, digging in foreigners trash cans to glean aluminum. The trash men also open some bags on the trucks to see what's easy.
At the dump, before the trash is moved to transfer, the process is repeated. We are all so into recycling aluminum here! I even wad up carry-out foil and throw it into my can bag!
Hey, it's a dollar or so a pound in the world spot market! And so good for the environment.

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