With the incessant extent of photocopies required to retrieve and consider historic information about birds, this consumptive use has recently been offset by gathering thrown-away recyclable items. Within the neighborhood and along the way while going elsewhere to view birds, there is always trash strewn hither and yon. Numerous times, especially aluminum cans have been picked up, and then recycled. Plastic bottles have also been gathered to get them off the street and into the recycle bin for Tuesday pickup by the city of Omaha service.
While bicycling to Carter Lake and its environs on the splendid morning of July 27th, the smallish bag anchored upon the frame of my enduring bicycle was soon full, so subsequently many errant aluminum cans had to be ignored. After going through Levi Carter Park and doing some tree management, the route continued, with more cans along the streets and boulevards being left where they lay.
At Adams Park, a plastic bag was found and subsequently used for aluminum items found about the park and southward along Creighton Boulevard. From Adams Park to Hamilton Street, that plastic bag was filled with what would have otherwise been trash on the streets.
Around 6 a.m. on the 28th, more cans were gathered from the north side of the neighborhood. This included a bunch of plastic water bottles thrown away at one place ... the massive and trash-strewn lot east of 49th and Hamilton Street. The huge parking lot is not clean, with lots of broken glass and a multitude of other unnecessary debris thrown there by residents of "apartment-ville." Any visits here are made afoot rather than upon a bicycle since there is so much broken glass which could result in a flat tire. There are other can-men which visit the area and peer around, searching for aluminum for which cash will be paid.
Later in the day, northward on 49th street, since the convenience store door was locked due to an employee's reprise, regular trash was gathered. The result was two bags of trash removed from the local environs and placed into a trash receptacle for proper disposal. Some other items were placed within a street-side dumpster. The debris is pervasive, and upon its removal, there is a lesser amount of antagonizing bits of unwanted debris. Once gone, there is a better balance to a scene free of glaring and unwanted pieces of trash.
The numerous aluminum gathered here and there will be taken to a metal recycling company, southward of Levi Carter Park. They pay about 50 cents a pound.
The measly dollars of payment will be used to pay the nickel per page for many photocopies. From a biased perspective, it is appropriate that recycling errant aluminum cans is an environmental offset.
My only wish to make this process easier would be a hopper on the bicycle and a "magic wand" which could be used to grab aluminum items without having to stop, bend over and grab them from the surface and place them within a container. One of the guys involved with this retrieval effort ride a bicycle, pulling a trailer for their haul. Others focus upon trash containers for a maximum return on their effort. One morning while birding at Levi Carter Park, someone was amidst the dumpster for the park trash, sifting out the aluminum discards.
There is almost a competitive situation for aluminum cans, as other men are regularly seen looking for cans in the neighborhood.
However it gets done, the recyclable material does not become trash, but is instead, and preferably, recycled!