12 May 2014

Metallic Focus

Being an advocate for birds has never been a lucrative endeavor. The lack of cash has been notably problematic in recent years. Going about on a bicycle works well, but on occasion, it would be nice place my self-propelled vehicle on the front of a bus to reach a distant destination. This sort of luxury takes more than a few cents in the pocket.

As the current year has been expressive in its finite perspective, a particular detail has meant a subtle yet significant difference. The price paid for a pound of aluminum at the recycling company is 58 cents, whereas it had been 50 cents! This is a significant change for many "can people". A time or two when presenting my measly amount of flattened cans at the place, there has been a line of others doing the same thing. We all have captured aluminum and taken it to where it is an economic commodity and not trash to be buried at the landfill of the metropolis.

Most of the recycled aluminum cans personally picked up are retrieved one at a time, either while bicycling about, or closer to home, during a walk-about. It's an ongoing effort since there are usually too many cans to fit into the bag space available upon my aged and many times repaired bicycle. It's primarily a trash removal effort that provides a trivial amount of money.

Various bicycle routes taken during this effort vary to provide substantive results. The route from downtown westward might be along Farnam Street or Leavenworth Street. When Carter Lake is visited, the return way may be west to 24th Street then southward to Hamilton Street, then west. It might take a route to Fontenelle Park, then southward. It may be along the streets to reach Adams Park, and then southward. Any of these options result in one can or more to retreive.

The endeavor might work better if a larger receptacle was available upon my Giant bicycle, so that any aluminum item seen could be retrieved. Now, once the available space is filled, including some further stuffing, anything else has to be ignored, pending another day? The pickup routes continue to be repeated as the weeks of this year continue to occur. Why can't someone invent a device that could be used to capture a can for recycling. This might make it easier to minimize the routine of find, flatten and contain.

With a continued effort, there is a notably lesser amount to be concerned with.

How many beer or soda cans it takes to make a pound is still not known. The plastic bags kept for a time in the garage convey an approximate number of pounds. They disappear when a certain extent — hopefully more than 10 lbs. — can be taken to the east Omaha place to receive a check of an unknown amount.

The ongoing and focused efforts of many people have taken discards and retrieved something so many times for money, but it is a recycling endeavor. The primary motivation is cash, and that works since so many items are not in the local landfill.

On May 13th there were 12.6 lbs. of cans recycled that had been primarily picked up off Omaha streets while bicycling about. It took fewer than ten days to gather the discards.
On May 19th another 16 lbs. of aluminum cans were recycled. They were primarily from a big pickup while returning from a morning bird survey at Carter Lake, then two stuffed plastic bags from Sunday a.m. and then a walk-about the local neighborhood later in the day. On Monday another walk around Carthage and a bit of Dundee resulted in another bag full. It was hopping at the recycle place that afternoon!

Carthage Cans

With the so special Mother's Day recognition well underway at midday, some time was taken for a walk-about a part of the neighborhood. There were some special things to appreciate after the morning rains.

The day started with an early visit by a wandering Swainson's Thrush in the backyard. Robins and grackles were foraging on the short-cut lawns, one home adorned with the mighty flag of the nation.

Any jaunt about the neighborhood blocks is usually accompanied by a chorus of barking dogs, with nearly each house on one black having a resident canine, or two. It was nice this time to hear instead, the vitality of a woodpecker striking its favorite tree limb.

Further along, among apartment-land, a couple of foreign sorts of women were smoking weed on the front steps of their apartment residence. The fems attracted some men. The attraction seemed to be some sort of fragrance.

With the rainy and wet conditions of the day (and then again in the evening), across the street from another apartmegopolis, the kids with glee to run hither and yon through across an empty, grassy lot were elsewhere. On the north side of this space on one June day, someone was considering dumping a mattress onto the adjacent property. The lot is always adorned with a multitude of trash and invasive weeds. The itty-bitty bits of broken glass often glitter in the descending sun of an evening's sky.

Dumpsters are prevalent among the multi-unit residences. The big metal containers are filled with pounds of trash, with other discards thrown nearby since a particular metal container was filled. Every week the trash is loudly hauled away to the landfill.

These buildings do not have anything to promote recycling. During my walk, it was obvious that one resident was throwing away the beer cans from his Saturday evening festivities. They were in a plastic bag.

After walking through this neighborhood on this particular Sunday, it was then time for a refreshing soda. At the convenient store, time and again, seldom is heard an English word, where residents buy liquor and snacks during many hours of every day. It's good for the business.

Results of the smash and pickup was one plastic bag, well-filled with cans that had been trash. In pay-back, the effort might be worth $1. To the contrary, a bunch of strewn cans have been removed from the community-scape, once again.

The situation is so ever-changing. It's so dynamic. At least the extent of thrown-away trash and debris along the streets is a continual indication of habitation representing the northern extent of the Carthage neighborhood, amidst Omaha.

Among this neighborhood there are so many dubious antics, some in violation of a city ordinance, along with many other minor inconsiderate insults to the place, as done on a continual, daily basis.

Nothing will change in this regard, but at least for this neighborhood, some details do convey some bit of its extent. The reality is always prominently indicative.