June 22 2011

The Recycling Business-man

There’s a guy around town who is the most amazing can recycling collector I’ve ever seen. I remember noticing him a while ago for his professionalism with can collecting. His double shopping cart was always well organized. He worked the streets totally prepared with blue plastic bags and ties and such. He’d go methodically from house-to-house-can-to-can like a machine. Collecting cans like he was on a mission.

He is almost OCDish in his surgical strikes on trashcans. No distractions. No talking. No apologies. Not looking for anything else but the cans. I bet if there was something possibly valuable in the trash (old suitcase or golf putter)– he’d pass it up. It’s not his business. It’s only about the cans.

The demand for cans is unfortunately going up alarmingly fast. On recycling day I’m sure there’s competition out there to gather cans. Occasionally, some unprofessional can collector will rummage through the neighborhood garbage leaving a mess all over the street. Not this guy. He never leaves a mess. And he’s quiet. He doesn’t bang stuff around. In and out. Boom done. There’s no other way to describe him but professional.

There’s something about this guy taking such pride in his work that is way impressive– but it’s hard to figure out if this guy was doing ‘ok’ or simply maintaining. Was he homeless? Semi-homeless? Where did he go at night? And considering the high volume of cans– where did he even take them? I don’t know a local place that can handle that kind of volume. Bags upon bags upon bags. Packed full. What kind of money is in it?

Well, recently I saw he’s expanded his business…

The other day I watched can collector guy organize his cans in and on top of his new car! Packed with cans! Certainly not homeless at all! But it made me wonder how much is in those cans to support a whole car. Gas costs, insurance (hopefully), parking (meters at least), plus he had to buy it in the first place etc… I wondered how many cans this guy must be collecting a day to support this investment. He’s simply great at it.

I realize it ain’t an easy way to make a living. It’s far from ideal (although I shouldn’t judge– who knows where happiness lurks) but regardless, there’s just something that’s amazing about this guy in his 100% can focused tightly organized world. It could be looked at as depressing kinda sorta maybe– but I’m thinking if you’re potentially the best in the world at something (anything)– there’s always gotta be a successful sly smile behind the appearance of intensity.

ok bye!
tOdd

PS. Here’s the new britney video

21

megan says:

I gather that you didn’t read the article about the mob controlling the can redemption biz? Tis true.

Krankor says:

You should interview him and post the conversation here.

garry daniels says:

i cannot imagine the maffia has sunked so low to have mob men collecting up pop cans

Nicol says:

WOW!

megan says:

there is big money in the volume–

spacetrucker says:

70 cents a pound at a place I saw in Minnesota.
70 bucks a hundred pounds.
There is probably 200 bucks on his car there.
If that’s a daily take, he’s doing all right.
But hustle is the thing. I used to collect cans and it took some time to get a hundred pounds.
But sticky, oh yeah.

the REAL weeze says:

I AM FIRRSTT BITTCHESS AND NO BAM CAN STOP MEEEEE FROM BEINGGG FIRSSTT YOU BITCHESSS!!!! HATERS HATE BUT WEEZE IS FIRRSTT AGANN!!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Amy says:

How come Mr. Can Man has a car and I don’t ?

Anonymous says:

because you suck dick for nickels

WHATEVER says:

This posting was obnoxious tODD you can do better and talk about your GF!!!!

the REAL weeze says:

FIRRSTT BITTCHESS AND NO BAM CAN STOP MEEEEE FROM BEINGGG FIRSSTT YOU BITCHESSS!!!! HATERS HATE BUT WEEZE IS FIRRSTT AGANN!!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

apmullaly says:

That price for aluminum in MN is cheap. Its a 1.70 a pound out here in Cali. Plus that doesn’t really look like 300 pounds (enough to make 200 bucks at .70 per). I’d say he probably has around 100-150 pounds. Still a lot of work collecting them cans.

Toni Sopranos says:

The mafia is for faggots!

Y.T. Chan says:

The mafia is for girlie girls? Really Toni? Really?

Jayslickbalt says:

NY has a 5 cent deposit on cans? that’s $1 for every 20……….so 1000 cans gets you 50$…..my guess is he’s married to a freaking bitch and needs to get out of the house….probably gets a hooker once a week with the earnings.

Anonymous says:

Just think of all the human spit on each and every one of those cans. I’m no germophobe but really… just sayin’.

Carmel from Hollywood says:

I heard a sopranos prequel movie is being shot right now.

Bob in Peru says:

Cans here are bringing 75 cents a pound. Cans put out at the curb in a blue box become the property of the scavenger with the recycling contract and are not to be taken by anyone else.

wink says:

your post made me miss NY

Ash-lay says:

One guy took all our cans.. And then took our recycling bin to carry all the cans. I was less than pleased.

cb1 says:

the guy is probably on welfare, social security, disability, etc. cans aren’t his only income. go get ’em, can guy!

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