Saturday, March 3, 2012

Aluminum Cans, Salvage Yards, and Kiva

Unloading aluminum cans
This last Friday included a quick trip to the recycling center. The closest one is actually a fancy name for a salvage yard. The only recycling going on there is the scrap they sell. They were pretty picky too. There was a broken building level (an aluminum one) in with the cans and they took it out. Maybe the glass in the level made it unacceptable, I don't know why and they were extremely busy so I didn't ask.

This recycling center has you drive onto the scales, then go to the wire metal cages (in the picture) and unload the cans, then drive back across the scales and then you get paid in cash. It is a pretty streamlined operation. Next time though, I am going to the bigger salvage yard. They pay just as much and they have a lot of metal salvage there, acres of it. Since I learned to weld I have several welding projects in my head and I want to go out back to see what their angle iron selection contains. I shopped there once before for a stainless steel sink, but that was a long time ago. There will be raw materials that I can convert into something interesting and useful. I know all the shapes and parts will inspire creativity. It could be a great start for a steam-punk garden sculpture project. Who knows what is back there.

Our can redemption trip this week was inspired by Kiva, an organization that makes micro-loans. Some friends saved cans for us when we told them that we used that money as an emergency cash fund to help people out. They gave us a bunch of cans they had saved and we cashed them in. We are going to get together with them, have a potluck and watch the TED talk about Kiva. Then we will all select a recipient for the can money loan. I like the efficiency. Take a waste product (cans), get money for it, use the Internet (save gas), loan someone some money who could use it and hopefully get repaid, then loan it again. A good recycle cycle.


  1. Here's the Kiva address if you want a look.

  2. One man's trash is a creative woman's treasure. *Cheers* to a woman who is not afraid to get her hands dirty, and in fact, enjoys the dirt. Way to be a trendsetter, Margaret!