Last night I put the recycle bins out to the curb containing a couple sixpacs of empty beer cans and bottles that my brother and I had generated over the week. Normally, the municipal crews come by at around 6:30 AM and pick these up along with plastic and paper recycles. This morning I went out and added some more paper and plastic to the collection bins. Sure enough, some enterprising individual had come through during the night and picked through, taking all the aluminum and glass before the City could get to them, leaving only the paper and plastic.
I don't know quite what to think of this. On the one hand, the aluminum and glass are commercially more valuable-enough to support the effort of our shadow economy. On the other hand, the municipality is stuck recycling the stuff of lesser value, missing out the stuff that would help the whole system pay for itself.