The Can Is Half Full

In my garage, I have a trash can half full of crushed aluminum cans awaiting a trip to the recycling center.

I bought the trash can when we moved to Nogglestead just over nine years ago. So I expect that it will be full sometime around 2030. Maybe.

When I was younger, taking aluminum cans to the recycling center was a windfall. My parents, when I was young, would collect their empties in giant garbage bags and would take them in periodically, receiving cash in those days when it was hard to come by. Both figuratively and literally–ATMs were not yet a thing, so if you needed money on a Saturday, you needed to know a shop owner that would cash a check for you, but the scrap yard was open on Saturday mornings.

Immediately after college, when I was living with my sainted mother and working two low-paying, an-English-major-can-get-them jobs to keep up with my suddenly due student loans, she would let me take in the aluminum cans for a bit of walking around money, and a couple of bags of cans could net me somewhere around $40, which was quite a windfall in those days.

Out of habit, I still hold onto the aluminum cans I come across to sell to a recycler, but I don’t drink much beer or soda from cans these days. Most of the cans I get are from food trucks that include a can of soda with a meal deal, empty beer cans tossed out of pickups coming down the farm road, or crushed cans that I find in parking lots and toss into the back of my truck. The latter methodology embarrasses my beautiful wife a whole bunch, but you can take the boy out of the trailer park, but you can’t take the trailer park out of the boy.

But I suppose I’d better get on it before the contents of the can have to go through probate.