In Canada, there is a small surcharge on bottles and cans of pop and alcohol (more for alcohol containers for some bizarre reason, after all they are all made of the same material *scratches head in bewilderment *), and it's possible to claim this surcharge back, if you return your empties to a Recycling Depot.
This poses a dilemma for the copious drinkers among us (well, me). On one hand, it's nice to get some money back (almost like you earned it), and in the past it was usually enough to buy another bottle of wine (it's only a few cents per bottle, so do the math), BUT on the other hand, there is the shame and embarrassment of the truck load of empties.
"Goodness me"....I would say..."we haven't done our recycling for ages " ignoring the exchange of judgmental glances between the Depot staff (imagined).
There was (is) an alternative, we can wait until the local school has a bottle drive to raise money for a sports team, and then the kids (driven by their parents) will come to collect the bottles and cans.
Last time I could have climbed into a hole and buried myself with dirt.
"Dad, Dad...look at HOW MANY THIS LADY HAS!!!" The kids were whooping with excitement at the goldmine of empties.......never again. (Also bear in mind that I live in a very small community and have an English accent, which is memorable, so I can just imagine....." Yes, that alcoholic English Lady, poor thing, AND they eat terrible food..."
So my charitable acts stopped immediately, and we went back to removing the Pile of Shame to the Recycling Depot once again.
This morning, I got to redeem myself on the charitable front. I donated my loose change to the local athletic teams who were cooking up hotdogs outside the grocery store.
On past Saturday mornings, usually I wouldn't have been at the grocery store that early, and I would have certainly avoided the Hotdog stand because the smell would have made me even more queasy.
Today, I dropped my coins in the box, smiled at the parents and refused a Hotdog. They are disgusting little parcels of mystery meat.
And they say the English eat terrible food!