One man’s treasure

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The end of winter finally arrived with the spoils of the year slowly exposed from the melting snow. Yes, I’m talking about garbage taking over my once-pristine yard. At least, it had been pristine with all the snow to cover the ugliness underneath. But now it’s time for the annual cleanup.

As usual, the incentives that come with the spring clean up make it almost worthwhile to have a lot of garbage on your lot. This year, it’s a possible prize for every garbage bag used. At this point in time, I’m at over 20 tickets earned. Hopefully, a new truck will be this year’s winning prize, as the cash prizes offered don’t really match the prices in the stores. In fact, most of the garbage is empty packing material blown about from the stores in town.

The other interesting garbage is composed of endless single shoes and boots, hats and gloves. Diapers seem to be impervious to any elements known to nature. If they made clothes out of the same material that covers our babies’ behinds, the ultimate jacket could be made. Imagine, a camouflage hunting coat made from disposable diapers. It keeps you dry and clean and lasts a thousand years. Stray dogs often bring in tasty snacks of all sorts but I’m a bit disappointed that I haven’t uncovered a mastodon bone yet.

Another great thing about the spring clean up is the amazing amount of aluminum cans lying around. These cans are worth money! If I had a nickel for every can I picked up I could probably buy that pickup truck I’ve been pining for. I think I’ll go into the business of garbage removal. Imagine: get paid to take away someone’s garbage, then recycle it and get paid again by selling it back!

In fact, back in the day when I was asking for a new bicycle, the price was astronomical. Consider that the Canadian dollar was worth $1.50 American, a hundred bucks meant six bags of groceries, a wristwatch and several packs of ciggies. Today, a hundred bucks will get you less than two cases of bottled water, which is cheaper than gas at the pump or maybe the front tire of a second-hand bicycle. I came up with a great idea of going to the dump and building a few bikes out of all the dead ones left there and then selling them at a good price. Soon, I had enough money to pitch in for a new bicycle and continued with my new business of repairing bikes.

These days, I often check out the local scrap yard. Did you know that it takes billions of dollars to produce the steel that just rusts away in almost every appliance and vehicle that is tossed away? That steel is worth a lot of money just because of all the processes needed to manufacture it. Yep, your old rez ride may be worth more at the dump than in your driveway. Even more so, the whole mining deal is out of the picture when it comes to recycling. Since everything is made of already processed metals, your own scrap yard is worth more than any mine, dollar for dollar. Maybe mining your own scrap might just pay off nicely.

As some old sage once said, one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure.

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