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Helping the Poor one Bottle at a Time..

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posted on Apr, 6 2016 @ 05:23 PM

I have this silly little idea. And I am wanting to see if anyone could help me expand on it a bit. I come from a state that has a bottle deposit charge on all the beverages sold here. Which is basically you pay an extra 10 cents when you buy them, and if you return the bottle back for recycling, you get your 10 cents back.

I usually don't return my bottles. They end up in the garbage of the local gas station I use. Before anyone gets upset because I am not recycling... I have a good reason I do this. There is a homeless person that I've noticed goes through the garbage cans at that gas station I use every day collecting bottles. He keeps to himself, won't approach the garbage can if he sees a car there. Won't interact with anyone, even if spoken to. So, I leave my bottles in there because I know he is going to be coming around and will be looking for them. I know he needs them to survive. And I realized that my two or three bottles could mean the difference between a meal or not for him each day.

Here's the thing... I started looking at the return rate for bottle deposits. On average, in the ten states that offer them... anywhere from 5-30 percent of the bottles purchased are not redeemed. Which doesn't sound like much... but we are talking ten states. Here is a quote to how much that adds up to in a couple of states:

In 2011, unclaimed (abandoned) deposits amounted to approximately $104 million in New York, $33.5 million in Massachusetts and $17.8 million in Michigan.3

And the money that is not redeemed is considered "abandoned funds" ... it goes to the general state fund or back to the bottling companies or distributing companies.(estimated dispersion of monies at link below)

I never knew how much money they made from all those non-returned bottles. But I do see a way we could put them to good use. This..this is one area we as consumers have control over . We can choose to return the bottles to a specific area and have those funds be used to feed the poor.. or we could continue to hand over millions of dollars to our state department and let them add it to the collective.

I was thinking how it would be great if we could set up some sort of return center that is put outside the gas are able to throw the bottles into it and at some point they are returned and the money is given to shelters or food banks...or somehow let the homeless person have direct access to the bottle you are able to take out so much monies a day for meals and such.. I dunno..just see this as an opportunity for everybody to help in our communities.

It would have to be just as convenient as throwing the bottles in the trash..let's face it, that's why we put them in the trash in the first place usually.

But I have no clue how you could get this to work. and I am looking for some ideas to get this started..

I want to start it in my home state.. small, just maybe my town and work it outward from there. So, any thoughts or ideas that could help make this work?

Bottle Bill


edit on 6-4-2016 by blend57 because: (no reason given)

edit on 6-4-2016 by blend57 because: (no reason given)

edit on 6-4-2016 by blend57 because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 6 2016 @ 05:30 PM
a reply to: blend57

Interesting idea!

Locally, poor folks pick up beer cans on the side of the roads.
(Isn't it a shame that people throw them out of cars to begin with?)

I imagine back when aluminum was trading for about $.50/pound it was not too bad...helped them out some.

It is currently $.35/pound.

posted on Apr, 6 2016 @ 05:58 PM
I throw all bottles and cans into my garbage barrel. When I put the garbage out for collection the homeless come by one after another and go through all my garbage and take them out

posted on Apr, 6 2016 @ 06:17 PM
There's bound to be some kind of legislation on recycling by now, that usually means the recyling plants provide the plastic dump, mostly in car parks and supermarkets, while charities have dumps for selected textiles.

I mean, you might be able to set something up in between all that, as a local thing, but would that help your man? that's the question.

posted on Apr, 6 2016 @ 06:20 PM
Sounds like a good idea to me, though we donlt have a return fee in my state any longer.

I get so angry at this "Recycle Madness" that is even mandated in some places.

1. They charge you extra to pick up the stuff.
2. They had to get a whole new fleet of diesel trucks to do it. (What did that cost?)
3. They wanted us all to use 66 gallon containers.
4. They changed the pickup from weekly to bi-weekly
5. And doubled the price.
6. And now they'll only pickup those huge containers
7. thus pretty well forcing me to dump the stuff.

posted on Apr, 6 2016 @ 06:30 PM
a reply to: TNMockingbird

Yes, this happens locally here as well..picking up cans from the side of the road. So, maybe having something like this in place will help the environment as well... as maybe people will be more apt to put them in a bin to feed the homeless instead of pitching them out the window...especially if it is as easy as dropping them into a different bin that sits right next to the garbage can they usually would drop them in. Lot's of maybes..I know.. but like I said, this is just an idea that needs help to grow.

a reply to: visitedbythem

Yeah.. kinda sad that they have to pick them out of the garbage. I really can't stand seeing it. And i don't see how it should be happening now a days. This is not directed at you, just a general comment to your statement.

a reply to: smurfy

That was one of the things I was considering. Just was hoping to throw some ideas around and see if there was something better. As well as what you said.. will this money get back to the people who need it if I do that..or will the costs of maintaining the bins, picking up the bottles, and such eat up all the funds... looking to see if there is a better way..

a reply to: schuyler

Hopefully it turns into a good idea... i want it to be.. right now it is just forming, a thought. But if I can get it to work right, and actually have the money go where it needs to.. then it could be an amazing way to help out other people.

That's why I'm looking to get some thoughts and ideas from other members.. to help grow it into a reality..

thanks all for commenting.


posted on Apr, 6 2016 @ 06:40 PM

originally posted by: visitedbythem
I throw all bottles and cans into my garbage barrel. When I put the garbage out for collection the homeless come by one after another and go through all my garbage and take them out

They are probably looking for your discarded credit card offers or other financial information to steal your identity.

posted on Apr, 6 2016 @ 07:18 PM

originally posted by: Metallicus

originally posted by: visitedbythem
I throw all bottles and cans into my garbage barrel. When I put the garbage out for collection the homeless come by one after another and go through all my garbage and take them out

They are probably looking for your discarded credit card offers or other financial information to steal your identity.
No Brother they are not. They push shopping carts, and live on the streets. They callout to me when i take out the garbage at 430am and say " Sir, may I go through your barrel for recyclables? I always say " You may".

posted on Apr, 6 2016 @ 09:54 PM
What if instead of getting 10 cents for that bottle, you turned it into a 30 cent brick? If you were to build a shelter 10 cents at a time, it would take a really long time. Now, do the same thing a brick at a time, and you will have shelter sooner than later.

Recycling programs are a scam. There are better ways to repurpose our discarded items. The video below is a good place to start.

Here is the latest video of my Dad's project. I help out where I can. I'm nearly 40, and yet here I am with my Dad building the "fort" we always wanted..

There are always alternatives to throwing money at a problem.

posted on Apr, 6 2016 @ 10:03 PM
I don't like typing this because I feel like it is bragging

But myself every 6 months go and pick up cans from around my area (funny enough when cars drive by no one looks at me funny so that's good) I borrow 10 crates and fill them up and leave it outside the bin area (aluminium scrap metal) either way if someone takes it.. But the best feeling is when I drive down to the deli everything looks so beautiful clean again

So yes I thought the same thing as you I think it's brilliant idea

edit on 6-4-2016 by realnewsrealfunny because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 6 2016 @ 10:43 PM
Recycling is a good contest there....
I keep a plastic tub on the dock by my boat and throw all cans and bottles that are worth anything into it.....
As do my neighbour boats...(we use the same tub) any of the homeless people who want to come and pick them up are welcome to them.....

The downside is two fold...

They use the money for drugs and beer etc...far more than food or shelter......

Eventually they get to wanting even more from us like money, food , or place to hang out when utterly zonked on the proceeds....

The charity freely given is an enabling for their decadent is most other forms of same.... a kind of soft abuse really...
Its a vicious cycle for them and for anyone who cares enough to empathize and help....

Theres GOT to be a SEA CHANGE....because the problem is not being solved this way....

Bernie talks like he has some answers, but I doubt Hitlery has even considered the problem....

We need better people to lead us to being better people....
edit on 6-4-2016 by bandersnatch because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 7 2016 @ 04:14 AM
a reply to: visitedbythem

This is a good thing you do. I'm glad to know there are people on this Earth like you. Well done!

a reply to: Bobaganoosh

What an interesting thing you and your dad are doing! I wish I was as creative as that. I'm not looking to make any cash from this... I'm looking to take the cash that we, as consumers, just throw away and give it to the homeless somehow. This seemed like an easy thing to do.

The money is already there... it is just not used. (well, not by the consumer who spent it in the first place) If I could somehow make it easy enough for people to throw their cans in a donation bin versus a garbage bin... it would be easy to get the money directly into the hands of the homeless I would think/hope.

a reply to: realnewsrealfunny

Very nice of you and a good idea for states that don't have a bottle return. Well done and great to see there are like minded people on this site.

a reply to: bandersnatch

I understand what you mean. There are plenty of homeless that would use the money for drugs and such... but there are also plenty that would just go get some food with it as well. Just trying to think and do something positive.. seems like there is enough negative in this world...

So, it sounds like most are doing some form of this anyways... but there are a lot who don't , otherwise why the 5-30% non returned bottles? So, how do I get those bottles and use them to help the homeless/poor?

Thanks to all who responded.. it is nice to see all the good things you are doing out there.. every time I read one of your posts it made me smile and think about all the good people there are out there.

Any more ideas or thoughts are very much welcome. I have no idea how to get this started and will be doing some research tonight when I get home from work... but I like to see what other people can come up with and want to do this the best way possible.

Thanks again,

posted on Apr, 7 2016 @ 06:28 AM
a reply to: blend57

Apologies if that came across wrong. I was trying to point out that the bottles have a higher value as building material versus the deposit program.

One thing you may consider is talking to local bars and clubs about what they do with their bottles. Many times, it costs them to have their bottles disposed of by a third party. Many are happy to do something with them that may be a more worthy cause.

posted on Apr, 7 2016 @ 06:03 PM
a reply to: Bobaganoosh

I dunno how it works for other businesses ... but the one I'm in actually gives the bottles/cans back to the distributors . They take the bags back to their warehouse and from there I am unsure what happens. I do know that we, as a retailer, get reimbursed for the bottles/cans from the distributor.

I guess for now I need to keep this simple. I want to help out as much as I can.. but I also work full time and have very few days off. So, when I looked at this.. I thought "hey, this is something I can do right now.. this is something that isn't too complicated and won't take too much time away from my family or job." Hopefully that makes some sense.

Still have a lot of research to do.. but I wanted to say thank you.. it is a good thought and I'm grateful for you offering it up. I never thought about it before and need to see if it is something I can do.. by myself.. at the present moment. But it is exactly what I was looking for. Creative and helpful ideas..

So, thank you!!!


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