Tuesday, September 09, 2008

240 bottles

This is Alabama.

I met him this afternoon while on my way to my neighborhood Obama office. He was chatting with this cat from Pakistan about perhaps buying an old bicycle. I walked by him and noticed he was sitting on a Village Voice bin on its side (the bin itself looked like it was taking a nap.) I stopped and turned to have a chat.

Alabama sleeps on the streets of my neighborhood every night. It turns out he was sitting outside waiting for the local supermarket to accept the 240 bottles that he had just spent an hour collecting.

240 bottles.

That is all a supermarket will take from one person in one day in new york city. and like Alabama told me, he just doesn't understand why grocery stores that sell bottles with deposits often front on not accepting 5 cent returns. The street corner he was sitting on had a Rite Aid on the opposite corner and a West Side Market on the other corner. Those two stores don't accept the 5 cent return, although they charge each customer five cents a bottle.

Alabama, an honest man working hard on the daily, is getting shafted for the laziness of massive stores that are making money like it's water.

And let us not forget, Alabama is recycling bottles that would otherwise sit in a landfill for thousands of eternities.

Schooled, I was by Alabama, as he informed me that there is only one Poland Spring bottle that can be returned for dough. That's the 1.5 liter. A quick google heads to the www.bottlebill.org site, yup, a law was attempted in the New York state 2008 budget and died in June of this year, it would've expanded five cents to a lot of different beverages, encouraging recycling and helping brothers like Alabama make an honest living while contributing to the environment.

If stores were required to accept returns and all bottles had a five cent return on it, well then, this country, this state, this city would be contributing to the environment, encouraging positive, honest living and lowering the crime rate in the most positive way it could.

Sometimes a little corner impromptu school like this makes me realize how crazy this world is. How powerful big companies are and how small, folks without many resources must feel a lot of the time.

love and health to all...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are such a good writer.

10:02 PM  

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