I think I got burned yesterday.
I took a full garbage can full of flattened aluminum cans down to the City Garbage recycling center. I dump the cans in the hopper and the guy runs them up the conveyor belt where they drop into those wire mesh bins they use to weigh them in. He grabs the wire bin and rolls it around and bounces it up and down to get out as much water as possible. I notice only a few drops of water are shaken out. They seem relatively dry.
He puts the cans on the scale saying he's going to have to "take some off for the water". I told him that was fine and didn't think much of it. I look at the scale's digital readout. It's bouncing back and forth between 41 and 42 pounds. I look down on the receipt he's filling out and notice he wrote the weight down as 30 pounds.
Thirty pounds? He took off 25% from the total weight from clean, pretty much empty cans. I ended up walking away with $42 and change. I haven't done the math but I'm guessing I would have ended up in the $50.00 range had he not taken the 25%. I could see maybe 10%, but 25?
A gallon of water weighs 8.8 pounds. He took off 11 or 12 pounds, depending on how you read the scale. That's saying there was over a gallon, maybe 1 1/2, of water in the flattened cans. I doubt it.
This is the first time I've noticed how much they were taking off. They've done it before and, quite frankly, I don't blame them some of the time, especially in the summer when the cans haven't been continually washed by the rain. This was surprising if only because I thought it was one of the cleaner loads of cans I'd brought in.
I think I'll start taking my cans to General Recycling again. I don't recall them ever penalizing me for water, let alone non- existent water.