Here in California we have what’s called CRV. The letters stand for “California Redemption Value” and they’re on most plastic, aluminum, and glass beverage containers.
We get charged at the register for the CRV. We’re supposed to get the money back by taking our empty containers to a redemption center. But of course, we don’t quite get back all the cash we put in. That’s because we have to pay sales tax on the CRV charge. So, if you buy, for example, a Coke, you have to pay for the soda, plus sales tax on it, plus the CRV, plus sales tax on the CRV.
So you can bet your bottom dollar my husband was going to make sure we got back as much as we could for our accumulated containers.
We tried to do that the other day. I say “we tried” because it took a lot of effort.
It used to be that every major grocery store had a recycling center where you could bring your used bottles. But we discovered when we got to the one closest to our house that the line was about 30 people long—and the place had just opened for the day. Recycling there would mean hours standing in the hot summer sun.
Well, we knew about another facility nearby, so we headed over there—only to find it shut up tight. When we inquired why it wasn’t open, we were told that folks in the neighborhood had gotten up a petition to get it closed. Not only that, but we were informed that the one nearer our house is also scheduled to be closed.
Now, since recycling is a good thing, you may wonder why our citizens would petition to close a recycling center. It turns out they don’t like the homeless hanging around the area, because of course a lot of them will paw through your garbage cans to find any recycling they can turn into cash. I’ve seen them go through mine, but unfortunately, I don’t have anything in there they can use.
Now, I’ll admit I have had a time or two when I’ve had to stand in line behind one of these guys at the grocery store when they’re cashing in their redemption coupons. And my nose could tell they don’t bathe their bodies or wash their clothes often.
But I don’t know what the good citizens of my city expect the homeless will do without this source of income. Do they think these people will dissolve into thin air? Do they think the bottles and cans litterers leave behind will now recycle themselves?
And how do they expect these people to live? I imagine begging is going to increase when these folks no longer have at least this meager job to earn some money for food. And if begging doesn’t work, they might have to resort to theft.
Sometimes when you look at filthy, smelly homeless guys, it’s hard to remember God made them in His own image and likeness. And, as such, they have an innate human dignity. God certainly thinks they have redemption value—He went to the cross to redeem them. To Christ, their redemption value was exceedingly high.
Anyway, my husband and I had to get on the internet to find places that would take our bottles. We made a list, and about five of the ones we tried first were closed or gone. Eventually we found one several miles from our home.
I’m so lucky having to drive a distance is the biggest problem I have when it comes to recycling.