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RollTide4Ever
Alabama Fan
Nashville
Member since Nov 2006
12478 posts

Off-Topic: Alabama---Birthplace of American Recycling
Planet Money Podcast

quote:

In the 1980s, the mafia controlled garbage in New York. So when an Alabama businessman named Lowell Harrelson wanted to turn trash into energy, he found a mob boss. Bought 3,186 tons of garbage, put it on a big ship, and set sail to find a landfill to work with.

After a 6,000 mile journey, The Garbage Barge, as it came to be known, resulted in an epic mess.

But it was also the birth of residential recycling in the U.S. as we know it.
This post was edited on 7/11 at 5:45 pm


John Milner
Alabama Fan
Member since Jan 2015
3978 posts

re: Off-Topic: Alabama---Birthplace of American Recycling
As a kid in Alabama, I remember when it was very common to see trash just being tossed out of the windows of cars traveling along, the roadside littered with it.


East Coast Band
Alabama Fan
Member since Nov 2010
38306 posts

re: Off-Topic: Alabama---Birthplace of American Recycling
quote:

As a kid in Alabama, I remember when it was very common to see trash just being tossed out of the windows of cars traveling along, the roadside littered with it.

Just drive around any county road in the state and you'll realize not much has changed. Pisses me off.


Master of Sinanju
Member since Feb 2012
8252 posts

re: Off-Topic: Alabama---Birthplace of American Recycling
I remember riding in the back of my dad's truck with my brother when we were kids. We'd ride all over picking up cans. They probably spent more in gas than the cans were worth, but we were allowed to keep the money.


JustGetItRight
Alabama Fan
Member since Jan 2012
10670 posts

re: Off-Topic: Alabama---Birthplace of American Recycling
If you were dealing in cans you are probably too young to remember the real cash cow.

Back in the day before plastic and aluminum the money was in glass bottles. You got a nickel for returning one of the smaller 6, 10, and 12 ounce bottles and a dime for the larger 32 ounce ones. A guy on our street would buy them off us for 3 cents for the small and 7 for the big.

People were such pigs you could just ride your bike up around and net $5 a week with no overhead.

Good times.


BooShaker
Alabama Fan
Wragg Swamp
Member since Nov 2009
57 posts

re: Off-Topic: Alabama---Birthplace of American Recycling
We ran bottles to Michigan to get double. A friend worked for the post office and he would always sign up for the extra truck running to the Second Domestic Regional Sorting facility in Saginaw, MI, before holidays (especially Mother's Day). We'd carry a couple of mailbags and the rest was ours.


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Crimson Wraith
USA Fan
Member since Jan 2014
12745 posts

re: Off-Topic: Alabama---Birthplace of American Recycling
Convicts and welfare folks should be picking it up.


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Evolved Simian
Alabama Fan
Bushwood Country Club
Member since Sep 2010
14583 posts
 Online 

re: Off-Topic: Alabama---Birthplace of American Recycling
quote:

Birthplace of American Recycling


This is actually a fascinating story. The guy lost a shitload of money on this barge trying to create energy from trash, but the national outrage over a barge full of garbage, coupled with the television media spreading false stories about running out of landfill space led to the creation of large scale recycling.


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