Maxie finds water bottles.

Maxie is horrified to discover an enormous pile of discarded water bottles under a bed.

maxie and bottles (2)

Maxie and I are both appalled by the sheer volume of bottles we found under my son’s bed. Why was I looking under my son’s bed? I was looking for hangers. Was I mad? No not really, at least I know he is well-hydrated. But this mound of bottles does highlight another issue, other than my son likes hoarding empty water bottles.  Where exactly are we supposed to dispose of our bottles?

Here in California, we are forced to pay a 5 cent deposit for every bottle of beverage we purchase.  For a case of water, we pay a $1.20 extra for the deposit on the bottles.  In theory, after consuming the beverage, we can then take the empty bottles to a recycling center and redeem our deposit. But it seems all the recycling centers are closing or have closed.  Presently, we have 27 garbage bags full of discarded bottles piled up in our garage and we have no place to take them.  If I put the bottles in the recycling can, then I am essentially throwing a nickel into the garbage every time I discard a bottle.

I  did some research to find out why the recycling centers are closing.  All I could find was a small article about closing the recycling centers 2 days a week in certain neighborhoods, to discourage the homeless from rifling through the blue recycling cans placed out on the street for garbage pick-up days.  In another article, I found a story about undercover investigations done at the recycling centers to see if they were undercharging people for their bottles.  Based on the results of the sting operations, the government decided to close the recycling centers altogether. Now the consumer is not able to redeem any of their 5 cent deposit.  Oh, that makes sense!

homeless recycling

I am sure there are readers out there that will say – don’t drink bottled water.  And I say – our water here smells weird, has particulate matter in it and just isn’t that palatable.  There will be other readers that say – why would you let your son throw all those bottles under his bed, you should punish him, shout at him, take privileges away – and I say – you are right, I should do all those things, but there are bigger battles to fight, and besides it makes for a blog post, with a photo of a cute a** puppy.  And then others will say, is this really an important issue, do you have NOTHING else to worry about?  Why aren’t you posting about world hunger, violence and the Presidential elections?  Well, because bottles under the bed, the closing of recycling places, me chucking my hard-earned nickels into the recycling can, the average consumer getting taken advantage of, and simply being the pawn in a bigger pissing contest, are of concern to me today.


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19 replies »

  1. I have to drink bottled water, but I try to drink it out of larger bottles in a reusable bottle or glass. The small ones are pretty wasteful. I do my best. The city treats it’s water fine, but it is the pipes between there and here that are the potential issue. Better safe than sorry. You never know when a city is pulling a Flint either.

      • Btw, if that water is a Coke product, schools will take those caps because they can get money for them. I’m doing a Coke rewards thing for LMs school and each cap gets them about 4 cents. Sucks the schools have to hustle for a little extra cash, but it helps at least.

      • Oh I remember the days of bottle caps and box tops. And those fundraisers that always ended up being my responsibility to peddle the stuff no one wanted. Most of the time I ended up buying the stuff myself, gift-wrapping paper, trinkets an cookie dough that sat in the freezer getting layers of ice crystals.

  2. You are such a great storyteller 🙂 I loved the opening paragraph – still grinning, though appreciate that the whole thing sounds like a bit of a pain.

  3. Maybe your son was saving the deposits for something himself? It sounds an absolute pain that the Government should slap on a 5c deposit to make people recycle and then take away their ability to do so. At least Dick Turpin wore a mask Susan.
    Have a wonderful week
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  4. What a find. You can tell why Maxie was so shocked.

    Your post makes me appreciate how my recycling is collected every Tuesday from outside my house. Here in the UK, we’re all encouraged to recycle more. Our local authorities seem to be paid more for the more they recycle on our behalf. Mind you, we all pay council tax once a year, some of which goes to paying for the recycling collection.

  5. We pay a nickle tax on all bottled items as well without the benefit of any recycling reward. I have (a long time ago) brought back bottles to the store where I bought bottles and received a refund. I don’t know if they still do that.
    I understand the reason you get bottled water and am not judging, but I sugest looking into one of those delivery systems where bring the large water bottles that you might see in an office building. They reuse those bottles. I know a few people who have them in their homes and seem to be happy with the cost.

  6. Aw that’s no fun. In Germany you get a few cents per bottle plastic or glass except those that are deposit free and even cans (beer, Coke etc) have a deposit… There are machines in every super market, to collect them, but they also have stores only selling drinks, water, beer, soft drinks, that always take back the bottles too, it’s a real industry.
    I totally understand you buying bottled water. We do too and here they all go into the trash my house does not even have a recycling bin… They only recently, two or three months ago, stopped using the lead pipes in my house, the ones from the city are within the norms as is the local water.
    Good luck, maybe it will be cheaper if you buy some big bottles and fill them if needed into some of the smaller ones.

    • Hi Solveig. I actually think I might save them and build a greenhouse out of them. How cool would that be? One of my other blogging friends, Bun, sent me a link on it.Hope all is well with you and your family.

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