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    Friday, August 04, 2006

    No proper camp shall be without...........................

    To the untrained eye, this may appear to be litter. No no dear readers, this is a campsite in Michigan. Every one of those dear empty aluminum shells, once full of foaming goodness, is worth $0.10 USD.

    In Michigan, we have this thing called a bottle deposit. It's more or less a ransom, or bail money you pay up front in addition to the cost of the beverage at hand. You get that dime per can or bottle back only if return the empties. We made this a law back in the early 70's, and it really has reduced the litter in our state. Not all states have a bottle deposit, and those that do range from as low as $.05 to $0.10+, hence that ill fated Seinfeld episode where Kramer and Newman plan to take a buttload of cans from NY to MI...:)

    For us in camp, it works out pretty well. You drink all night, sip coffee the next morning, bag up your empties, turn them in and buy more beer. Pretty ingenious I must say. Often at camp, there may be a family member a lil down on their luck, we'll donate the cans to them instead and they wind up with 50-100 cash for the effort of turning them in.

    At camp, your pile of empties is very important, as it says alot about your campsite.

    We usually camp on federal land, thus under the jusistiction of US Rangers. If your camp is visited by a Ranger, and it will, and your cans are strewn all about like a bomb went off, thats not going to be a pleasant visit. The fine for littering or dumping on federal land is pretty steep!! :) If your cans are in a clearly defined pile, organized camp, and your trash is well under control, you'll have a very pleasant visit. They'll actually tell you they wish more like you were camping in the area and sit and bullshit with you for awhile, gossip about what camps they busted and why, heads up on what to watch for, etc. They also give you more leeway for rowdiness if they think your not going to trash the site.:)

    The last rule of camping always is...leave the campsite looking as good........or better than you found it.

    Comments on "No proper camp shall be without..........................."


    Blogger Suze said ... (2:57 PM) : 

    It's a shame we don't have that scheme over in the UK.

    Here we have bottle and can deposits which you have to a) drive to and b) don't get paid for using.

    Consequently, we have quite a bad litter problem over here. It's a shame we have such beautiful countryside.


    Blogger ZigZagMan said ... (4:26 PM) : 

    Hell Suze, at a dime per can, we have homeless guys making a living walking up and down the road picking them up...:)


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