Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Cleaning Up

I was driving two days ago when I noticed to the right, out of my passenger window, a woman carrying two giant clear plastic trash-sized bags of aluminum cans.  She was stepping out of a large,  maybe acre-sized field at whose edge by the sidewalk was her bicycle and an attached wagon.  That’s where the bags of cans were going to be placed. I then naturally took a look at the field behind her; clean as any field could be.

And that’s when it hit me.  How to clean up this planet.  If recycling all materials could be worth the work, then there would be no junk laying around.  Cans and glass bottles already bring enough cash to make it worth some people’s work to get every one of those items off of the ground.  But what about all of the other stuff?  Paper, rubber (as in pieces of tire), other metals.  Cities could make those random scraps of litter worth picking up and turning in for cash.  If that were the case, then I’ll bet most areas would be pretty clean.  The trick is that a lot of those materials must be collected in a way that produces large amounts of weight.  For paper and some sorts of metal, you literally have to have a truck’s worth to them to have a monetary impact.

I’d like to offer a sensible solution here, but i can’t really think of any.  One idea would be to take some of the monies allotted to municipal clean up crews and shift them over to subsidizing recycling centers.  This way, city employees could concentrate on other forms of work while people who could use the extra money, homeless, jobless, etc., could clean up the city and collect money for themselves. 

But I don’t know if this really makes sense.  There is probably a lot of room for fraudulent activities, such as people stealing reams of paper and bails of cardboard and then turning them in for the money.  Or as often happens, people steal various metal piping from construction sites to make a quick profit.  Another point to think about is that municipal employees could probably use the work and are better organized and efficient (don’t laugh…I mean more efficient than roaming homeless people and alley scrappers) at getting duties such as these done. 

So I don’t really have an answer to any of this.  But there may be something in there, because, damn did that woman clean the field well.