canners

I wasn’t looking for an Unconsumption tie-in to tonight’s Academy Awards, but:

Among the five documentary shorts nominated for an Oscar this year is Redemption, a thirty-five minute film about New York City’s “canners”: the men, women, and children who collect bottles and cans from the city’s streets for their five-cent cash redemption value.

Edible Geography has a great analysis of the film and the issues it touches on, and implies. Read it here.

I want to highlight this bit of the writeup: Five-Cent Redemption.

That the opportunity to “can” exists at all in New York is due to the state’s Bottle Bill, enacted as part of environmental conservation legislation in 1982. Only eleven states in the U.S. have some kind of container deposit legislation, which occasionally leads to some cross-border shenanigans: a recent Los Angeles Times article pointed out that California’s 2011 redemption rate for plastic containers was an impressive but technically impossible 104 percent, and blamed “crafty entrepreneurs” driving “semi-trailers full of cans from Nevada or Arizona.”

Bottle Bills are usually promoted as an incentive to encourage the public to recycle more and throw away less. Various studies have shown that they do increase recycling rates dramatically: the United States’ overall beverage container recycling rate is estimated at thirty-three percent, while states with container deposit laws have an average rate of seventy percent. As watching a documentary like Redemption makes clear, however, a lot of this extra recycling and sorting is not being done by the consumers of canned or bottled beverages; instead, the state has outsourced its acts of environmental virtue, at far below minimum wage ($2.50 an hour at best, by my rough calculations), to some of its most marginalised populations.

The rest at: Five-Cent Redemption

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Grey’s Anatomy Season 9 Deleted Scene - Mark Arrives

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HOLY CRAP YOU GUYS! I’M SOBBING ALL OVER AGAIN! THE FACT THAT EVERYONE WAS CLAPPING AND THEN JACKSON STAYS IN THE ROOM WHILE MARK TELLS JULIA HE LOVED LEXIE! 

I. CAN’T. DO. THIS! I’M CRYING! 

Canner in Woodlawn.

Displaying the dignity and beauty of ordinary working people. This guy is a canner, eking out a living (maybe $20-30 a day) redeeming bottles & cans, which he finds on the street, in trash cans, and in dumpsters.

To look at him, in his neat collared shirt, he could be a businessman or diplomat.

Watch on dctvny.tumblr.com

Jon, Matt, and Susan (who appears in Redemption) on the Fox Morning Show

Canners

I like the clanging sound glass makes when canners gather bottles from the recycling bins. I’m not really sure I could tell you why, but I think it has to do with being pleased that people are finding money in the garbage.

I suppose the sound is pleasing too, somehow. It sounds a bit like stuffed bells—something that could be music but isn’t. The individual rhythms of the canners as they chuck the bottles into their carts or whatever else they have to carry.

That they do it with gusto, not sneaking off with the bottles, pleases me too.

There’s one man up the street whose poverty I don’t like to think of who loads his cart up to the point where he looks like he’s pulling a pack animal in some distant land—huge garbage bags of cans piled high on top, sticking out the sides and back of the cart. He pulls his groaning cart through the street, including the busy intersection, to Stop N’ Shop’s redemption center. I can’t imagine what would make someone turn to such aggressive canning, but the sight is one not seen often here. It’s wrong, I’m sure, to appreciate the sight, but, you know, I do.

Prepper Book Festival 8: The Organic Canner + Giveaway

Are you a frustrated home canner wannabe like I am? Whether that describes you to a “T” or whether you are an experienced pro, home canning is one of those skills where you can never have too much knowledge and reference material at your fingertips. Let me rephrase that: you can never have too much credible knowledge at your fingertips. With that introduction, let me re-introduce you to Daisy Luther, the author of The Organic Canner. You might remember Daisy from a previous Book Festival when I introduced her book, The Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months. http://b4in.com/pMoS