Monday 30 January 2012

A Very Good Day

I got to go to the dump today! Not the regular old household trash dump, although I really like that dump too, but we went to the metal scrap yard.
I guess that it isn’t technically a dump, because it is privately owned and they make a profit from other people’s trash. The city run dump loses money faster than you could toss it in the…garbage. I go to the dump or perhaps I should say landfill, no, dump is less classy but it is a dump after all. Anyways, I go to the dump pretty infrequently, but on every occasion I have wanted to take out more than I put in. I have seen guitars, electronics, tools, building materials, toys, furniture, and once I saw what must have been 1000 beer cans. We have deposits on our cans and bottles in Alberta, so I had to pay $12 for dumping and left about $100 dollars just sitting there.

The city pays guys just to sit and make sure that no one takes any of their garbage. I will grant you that they are what I call the “walking dead” (injured employees), but they are a pretty surly bunch. There are other cities that sell permits to scavenge and reclaim saleable materials which save the landfills from filling up. I guess because we have pretty crappy farmland between Calgary and the Saskatchewan border, the sanitation department figure they have an unlimited area to dump in. Maybe they are planning to build mountains.

Today we went to the scrap yard as I said and it was kind of like an adult version of Willy Wonka’s factory. There were marvels and wonders every way that I looked. When you drive in, if you squint and the sun is just right it looks like a city made of diamonds. There are trucks of every kind driving in and around the lot, some dumping, some picking up and some I suspect just hanging out in a cool place. The piles are so large, that you see buses and combines peaking out. The first person you meet is a woman that asks you what is in the truck and then directs you onto the scale to be weighed in. Then you are sent to the place where you are to off load what to us is scrap but to the owners of the yard must be gold.
Before we backed into the spot, a humongous bulldozer pushed the metal shelving (?) up against a huge pile of other metal. You know those arcade games where you control a claw crane and hope to pick up a stuffed toy or in my day a pack of cigarettes or lighter? Well, they had a couple of these claw cranes and they would open and drop, close together and pick up a bunch of metal, and the coolest thing is that they would just toss it to the other side of the pile. Man, I would pay them to let me do that! I was a little concerned that I might have a fridge dropped on my head, but I guess if I had to go that would be as good as any other way. Just as we were finishing, the claw dropped on a car and punched through the metal like it was paper. It then flipped it over and the closed claws dropped, crushing the crap out of the car. Finally it picked it up and tossed it to the other side of the pile where I guess the other crane operator got to play for a while.
We had a couple of batteries and they had to be taken to Bay 3. We dropped them off and then drove back to the scales, were weighed and then parked the truck to go inside. Once inside, Ken had to show his truck registration and two pieces of ID. I guess that is in case someone is missing their metal junk. Good luck finding it in this place! For the load of metal and a couple of batteries, they paid us $42 and change. It was kind of like dinner and a show. Man I could watch them all day, and we were paid for it. Life is good!

We went to Tim’s for coffee the scrap yard bought. All in all, it was a very good day.  

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