Here in East Jordan, the designated days of Tuesday and Saturday are when our local recycling and waste station is open. It's a busy place, and more and more folks are learning that not only is recycling a positive green activity, it is also cost effective. The more waste we can recycle the less we have to pay for tossing a bag of trash into the dumpster. A lot of folks don't want to be bothered with going to the recycling station on a Saturday, and that's too bad, because not only are they spending a precious portion of their paychecks on garbage pick ups, they are missing out on the smiles and camaraderie of folks meeting at the way station. There are always big smiles and warm hello's even from folks we don't know. There is something good about recycling, that goes deeper than the visible action of respecting our planet and offering a little time to greening up our living habits.
There is one other thing that a trip to our local recycling station offers. It is also a resource to those who have a discerning eye. A few years ago, we scavenged a book.... a rare copy of J D Salinger's 'Catcher in the Rye'. We saw what was a bunch of obviously old books in the paper recycling, and Jerry jumped in and retrieved them. Most were just old, musty smelling, books. But not all. We had no idea the Salinger book was so special. When we put it up for auction on EBay, and started to get lots of lookers, and questions and requests for a photo of the back page and the indicia page, we knew something was more than unusual about this book. The bidding frenzy was fun for us to watch on our receiving end. It was OUR book! It ended up selling for $300 to a fella in Philadelphia. Not bad for dumpster diving! We were more than encouraged, and started grabbing books everywhere we could find them. Big mistake. Most books aren't so valuable, and unsaleable. EBay has lost it's charisma and now we have too many books. Not good for space or organization.
Now it's the metals market that is showing promise for us dumpster divers. Now the recycling station offers toss outs that are steel, aluminum, tin, and sometimes copper. So when we go to recycle our glass, and plastic we always check out the dumpster with the big stuff that can't go into the paper, glass, or plastic bins. We don't recycle our cans in the metal bin anymore. We save them and take them to the salvage site that will pay us for their weight! Yes, it takes considerable time to pull out the copper wire in something, or remove the plastic fittings from a steel case or cabinet but the return is worthy of the work, when times are tough. It's rewarding to know that our efforts not only bring us some spending cash, but the items will be melted down and reused again. That's a good thing for Mama Earth and all Her inhabitants.