Monday, July 11, 2005

High Volume

Those of us whose poison of choice was beer, I've discovered, shared yet another problem: disposing of the prodigious cubic footage of empties. You liquor drinkers may not be aware how many beers it takes to black out every night and how much sheer space they take up.

A guy shared at a meeting that he would drink in his car, and toss all the empties in the ditch up the street from his house. He thought this was very clever, of course, until his wife commented a few months after he got sober that the street was so much tidier since he quit drinking.

A speaker at another meeting lived in a condo complex, and there was a trash chute. He was on the third floor, and the chute was in an outdoor corridor visible from everyones' front windows. When he dumped his bags of empty Heineken bottles, it sounded like an atomic bomb when they hit the dumpster, and everyone looked out their windows at the noise. So, he started wrapping each empty bottle in newspaper. "Normal people don't giftwrap their empties. Of course not! I was the only one smart enough to think of it. Normal people never came up with my brilliant idea."

For me, we had a housekeeper/babysitter with a granddaughter who loved Hello Kitty stuff. The little girl somehow converted empty cans to Hello Kitty merchandise. So I saved my empties for the housekeeper to give to her granddaughter. One time I took the housekeeper home and I was invited inside. There were Hello Kitty bedside lamps, a Hello Kitty bedspread, a Hello Kitty lunchbox, Hello Kitty shoes, socks, shirts. For all I know, there was a Hello Kitty Porsche in the garage.


At 7/11/2005 10:21:00 AM, Blogger bikipatra said...

When I was up to a case of beer a day (ohhh, my poor liver spasms in remembrance, my ever so innovative husband installed a can crusher on our back deck. It was the only way to fit all my empties in the recycling bin.

At 7/11/2005 03:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I used my heel as a can crusher. That helped with the empties, but didn't do much for the prodigious quantity of calories involved in drinking that much beer! If I remember correctly, one case of beer contains about 3,600 of them. More detailed information can be found here.

Namenlosen Trinker

At 7/11/2005 04:19:00 PM, Blogger Phil said...

I went through periods doing the heel-crushing. I wrecked more than one pair of sneakers and twisted my ankle. It also damaged the kitchen floor, and there was always enough beer left in the can to leak out on the floor, so I ended up with a pretty good layer of reeking dried stale beer. Which stayed there for months, needless to say.

At 7/11/2005 05:52:00 PM, Blogger dAAve said...

Good post.
I bought beer by the 12-pack. Regardless of how many I drank each day, the empties were folded/snapped in half and then put back into the beer box. I then piled the boxes in the kitchen, sometimes for several weeks.
I gave them to an old black, homeless man who trotted his shopping cart by 2 or 3 times each month. (he turned them in for cash) He would come to my door and together we'd empty the cans into his cart. If the collection was, say, 3 weeks old, there would be about 300 cans.

At 7/11/2005 09:36:00 PM, Blogger Andy said...

I did the vodka thing. Being an aquarium hobbyist, I had aquarium stands packed full of bottles. It got ridiculous when I realized that I needed another aquarium so that I could... you guessed it, hide more bottles. Insanity man.

Good to have you posting again!!

At 7/12/2005 03:46:00 PM, Blogger bikipatra said...

I went through a period where for some reason instead of piling my cans in a bag, I would put the empties on the kitchen counter and table. My husband would becaume so annnoyed and remove them. If he were sleeping they would bulid up. By daylight, the kitchen would be a sea of silver soldiers.

At 7/13/2005 05:41:00 AM, Blogger recoveryroad said...

I got through maybe 24 cans a day (as well as vodka) and I could have made a fortune recycling if I'd been sober enough!!


At 7/16/2005 07:04:00 PM, Blogger Logan Wick said...

Good to hear from you, Phil.

I used to have a liking for long-necks. The garbage truck would come through about 6:00 am and empty my two big garbage cans...thus waking the entire neighborhood from the sound of breaking glass.

It got to the point where the garbage men would pick the bags out of the cans and set them in the hopper gently (yes, I actually used garbage bags).


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