Tuesday, March 01, 2011

25% Water?

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.


At 7:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every recycling center penalizes you for drippy cans. Get your drippy cans in order before you let some man you don't know toss them around, Fred.

At 7:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"pretty much empty cans"?

At 7:57 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Those cans weren't "drippy", as I wrote. There wasn't hardly anything dripping out of the garbage can I had them in (I have holes in the bottom for drainage). Then they were dumped in the hopper and run up the conveyor, taking out even more water. Then he rolled the bin around and bounced it a few times.

There was hardly any water to be seen at that point. Probably one of the cleanest loads of cans I've taken in there. No way 25% water.

As I wrote in the OP, I can see it some of the time, especially in the summer, but this was a good load.

At 9:57 AM, Anonymous Eel River Ernie said...

Eel River Disposal in Fortuna starts out with the assumption that they are "dirty" hence a reduced rate is paid unless you object. To me it wasn't worth the hassle so they go in the recycle bin now, let them sort it out.

At 10:10 AM, Blogger Fred said...

I would think most places would base their rates on the assumption that there's going to be some water as part of the weight.

At 11:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every recycling center deducts money for wet cans. He told you so that you could choose to take your cans back if you wanted to. You didn't want to. Now you're whining. I don't see the problem.

At 2:28 PM, Anonymous South Fork Ernie said...

(A diifernt "Ernie" from my good friend "Eel River Ernie".)

Fred, weight has nothing to do with it. If you want to get your full deposit back, that you pay at the time purchase, count the cans. if you do that, you will find that you get much more money back.

The people that weight the cans invariably have their thumb on their side of the scale. If you are too lazy to count them, it's your bad. You will get way less than the cans or bottles are worth.

At 3:13 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Wow. I never thought about counting the individual cans. That would be a real pain with as many as I take in at one time.

At 8:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You were robbed. Go to the place on 4th right before you hit Broadway next to Baywest Supply. They never do that to you.


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