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September 6, 2017: Fare Thee Well

It was my last day working in the Alaska State Fair recycling sorting area. Cleanup efforts are near complete. Tomorrow the guys will move the remaining green barrels into the storage container. They couldn’t do it today because the day’s bags containing the plastic bottles and aluminum cans were in the storage container.

It was a good day for me because there were a variety of tasks. Also, like yesterday, I didn’t have to deal with fair goers. The day began with my cleaning up the sorting area, and then continued with my going on a recyclable bag pickup run. I went with Jeremy, who’s been doing the morning shift – he mainly picks up cardboard.

This job involved picking up cardboard and removing the plastic bags that line the green cans and tossing them into the back of a lime green Alaska State Fair pickup truck. There was a lot of a one, and a two, and a three . . . . I next turned the empty cans upside down. I am not sure why I was to do this, but I did as I was told. A humorous moment – I came to a barrel that because it had been placed under a rain gutter, was full of water. Jeremy emptied it.

I enjoy doing the pickup run at the fair’s end because I am at heart a scrounger. The day’s big find was five pallets with wood backing. I knew that no one would understand why I was so excited about this, so I suppressed my delight and acted casual as we placed them on top of the near overflowing bags. I may have said to Jeremy that I’m going to use them to train horses, but didn’t elaborate. I actually do body awareness work with my animals – for example, I have them do crunches. This involves backing up into a wall and pulling up their abdomen. Now I’ll be able to build an actual crunch station.

We returned to the sorting area and tossed the cardboard into large sacks, and the plastic bags containing the recyclables into the area where the LDS volunteers would sort them out. The latter showed up exactly at 1 p.m. Half the group went with Larry to pick up the barrels, and I went up to the dumpster area to work. The dumpster had been hauled off a few hours before, so there was no place for the maintenance workers to put it.

I began putting what was on the ground in a large sack. And I took the maintenance men’s cardboard. By the time I was done, I had four full sacks – sacks of cardboard that would otherwise have ended up in the landfill.

My final thoughts on the matter of the task that was before us was that we all did an amazing job. I am not delusional. I know that the amount of recyclables we all collected and sorted is miniscule compared to the overall amount world-wide. And it was a small amount compared to what the local maintenance people picked up. But I’ll tell you this – this is not the most important thing. The most important thing is that we did it, and in so doing made a good example for others.

Next: 247. 9/7/17: Whistle while you Work

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