Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Scenes From NYC: Can Caravan

Caravan of cans/bottles - pulled around NYC by one man (not the truck)

New York’s “Bottle Bill” requires that all retailers charge a 5-cent deposit on many beverage containers – especially soda cans/bottles. In addition, they must also PAY BACK this 5-cent deposit when someone returns/redeems cans to their store.

However, while the stores are quick to charge their customers, they often try to get out of paying the deposits back. Especially since many of the people that return these cans/bottles are homeless and/or have mental health and/or substance abuse issues. Not to mention that walking around the hot city and reaching into garbage cans all day doesn’t exactly leave you with a nice odor - which tends to upset store shoppers.

I took this picture (above) a little while ago, around the corner from my job. This gentleman (not pictured) had taken his caravan of shopping carts, loaded with bags of cans and bottles, to Gristedes supermarket for redemption. The Gristedes Manager, of course, wasn’t thrilled. I’m not sure exactly what happened, but it seemed as if Can Guy was planning on keeping his caravan parked out front until Gristedes gave him his money. This would make it extremely difficult for the store to receive deliveries (notice the traffic cones which were placed out front – that’s NOT for the Can Guy, that's for delivery trucks). And the store can’t call the police, because by law they’re required to give Mr. Cans his money.

Looks like Can Guy has a small fortune coming to him.



Sassy said...

Good for him.
Here in Cali they charge .10 for all bottles, cans and plastics. Most of the stores don't redeem this, you need to go to a station.

Problem is the stations are not being re-imbursed by the State and many have closed down. The ones that are left take cans but not all take bottles and plastics.

I am in a business center and the disposal company won't bring out a recyling barrel to the site, so mostly I pay the fees but the stuff still hits the dump.

Amber LeMay said...

Hmmm... if only he NEW a MAN who was a postal employee (the handsome man from the previous post?) who could take his USPS truck to Michigan where he could get twice as much back... just sayin'.

David Dust said...

Dearest Dustbunny Amber:

Hands down, Comment of the Week.

OMG ... I'm howling! Of course I'm a HUGE Seinfeld fan and could kick myself for not thinking of this myself.


Wonder Man said...


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