Wednesday, June 29, 2022
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The joys of recycling

by CHRIS PETERSON
Editor | May 25, 2022 7:55 AM

So I had this old dented tailgate from my pickup truck that’s been sitting around for a couple of year now.

I tried to sell it a couple of times, but no one bit. It had a sizable dent in it, that could have been pounded out, but it still worked fine. In fact, it would still be on the old truck if my wife hadn’t bought me a “new” used one.

But no one seemed interested, or if they were interested, they would call, but the never show up.

So I loaded it up the other day and figured a junkyard might buy it for a few bucks.

When I got to the junkyard the guy said hello with squinty eyes and asked me what I wanted while his dog licked my hand.

I told him I had a tailgate for a truck. He said he would take it, but wouldn’t pay for it.

I patted the dog on the head and left. Funny thing about the dog is that it didn’t look that friendly, but it acted friendly. You know, the exact opposite of what we all imagine what a junkyard dog should be.

At any rate, I kept going down the road and stopped at Pacific Steel and Recycling. I have never recycled a big chunk of metal so I had no idea what it was worth or what they would pay. But they steered me around the place and I got the truck weighed with the tailgate and then dumped it off in a huge pile of scrap metal and then came back and got the truck weighed again.

Turns out the tailgate weighed 60 pounds.

I got $1.50. But he did give me a 50-cent piece. I haven’t seen one of them in years.

At any rate, my “recycling” trip cost me about $9 in diesel fuel. Oh well, the old truck doesn’t get driven that much or that far anymore, so I suppose it was good for it, just not so great for my wallet.

I also just recently bought a truck camper for the pickup. I didn’t pay all that much and despite its age, it’s still pretty solid.

I did all this before diesel topped $5.40 a gallon. I thought about taking the boy over to St. Mary to camp earlier this year. I typically camp in tents, but I don’t like camping in auto campgrounds in tents. There’s always someone who shows up in the middle of the night and shines their light right in your tent.

Also, it’s nice to be in a truck camper early in the spring and later in the fall. You can cook out of the weather and sleep out of the weather and if you have to get up to pee, you don’t have to dance around in the snow or driving rain, as the case may be.

But then I did some quick math. I know the truck only gets about 12 miles to the gallon with a camper on it. The trip would roughly cost $102 in fuel, which seemed a bit excessive for an overnighter.

On the other hand, things will probably get worse before they get better. My family runs a cash crop farm back east and the red dye diesel there is $5.70 a gallon already.

I was just going on a little camping trip. Try to run a business on that cost. If we don’t come up with a way to support our farmers with these fuel prices, we’ll have a lot more than camping trips to gripe about.

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