In Blighty, they are thinking about something really revolutionary. This is the introduction of bottle gobbling machines in supermarkets to recycle your beer bottles and other stuff and get some money back. Well hello, Britain must be the last country in the world not to have these. Back in western New York we have been experiencing them for a whole, so herewith a few helpful hints.
1) It takes a huge mental effort finally to resolve to stop on your hurried dash out of the door and lift the overflowing box of bottles from the floor to the car. But it is worth it.
2) It's one of life's minor pleasures to feed your bottles one at a time into the machine and hear them being digested with loud smashes, clanks and crunches and I swear it - burps and then see the cents piling up on the little screen.
3) You can also take perverse enjoyment in feeding the wrong sort of bottle in and seeing if the machine can be fooled. Usually it can't.
4) You must remember not only to take your paper voucher out of the machine but also to present it at the till to get your money back. That's where the system starts to break down and presumably where they count on making their money.
5) There are legions of Americans who make an industry out of working out how you can purchase your bottles in a state with low deposit fees and then recycle them in a state where you get more money back. Of course you have to factor in transporting your bottles over state lines, though I'll bet there are some people who fill up pickup trucks specially for this. Judging by the number of customers I get stuck behind at the supermarket checkout, who produce armfuls of fiddly, time-consuming coupons cut from obscure magazines to save money, I wouldn't be at all surprised.
Britain can't get bottle machines soon enough. It will be a whole new leisure activity and family time too. You know how kids just love feeding ducks? This is much better.
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