Movers, shakers and sorters — we need YOU!

Contributed by Lion Greg Simpson

Hi Lions (and potential Lions; this is an example of a fun club project, that generates about $20,000 a year for local grants), we’re looking for some “Movers and Shakers”, in addition the “Movers and Shakers” we need some “Lookers” too.

Here are the job descriptions:

“Lookers”: Maybe not exactly what you were thinking when you saw the title. The job of “Lookers” is to check the Bottles & Cans trailers at least 3 days a week. More often is better, because the trailers fill up unpredictably and can change dramatically in a few hours if several people decide to clean their garage, back porch or wherever they keep their cans, on the same day.

When people put their bottles & cans in the trailers, some are in bags, some are in boxes and some get dumped loosely. We have 12 garbage cans in the trailers which help us to remove things for sorting. A large bag of cans can sit on top of a garbage can, or a couple of boxes can form a bridge so that everything piles up on top of the garbage cans. A trailer can look very full when actually there are empty garbage cans underneath. The result is a trailer that looks heaping, may still have a fair amount of room in it. “Lookers” identify when a trailer needs attention.

That’s where the “Shakers” come in. The only requirements are transportation, mobility and vision corrected to somewhere in the ballpark of 20/20 (of course 20/50 vision will work too but you shouldn’t be driving, right!).

“Shakers”: The requirements for “Shakers” include those for “Lookers” (transportation, mobility and vision) but now we throw in agility. This does not require the ability to do back flips or walking tight ropes but a “Shaker” does need to be able to stand in the doorway of the trailer while reaching in to move and empty boxes and bags into the garbage cans.

The result is to consolidate haphazard or loose items as compactly as possible into the garbage cans, but in emptying the boxes and bags we are also deterring theft. We have had incidents where people reach into the trailers and grab and remove bags.

When shakers empty bags, the empty bags can be pushed into the spaces between the garbage cans. Boxes can be broken down and stored between the garbage cans and the trailer wall. Easypeasy!

“Movers”: Ok, now we have a full trailer. That’s where the “Movers” come in. The trailers need to be moved or an empty one swapped out with the full one. This is the “Movers” job.

The requirements are those of the “Shakers” (transportation, mobility, vision and agility), but now we add in for precision. We also add in some requirements on the transportation requirement, that is: their vehicle needs to have a 2” trailer ball and a 4 flat wiring connector (if your vehicle’s capable, we can get the 2” ball and a wiring harness adapter which just plugs into your factory wiring harness).

Movers” need to prep the trailer to be swapped out. This means removing the wheel chocks, lowering the tongue of the trailer with the trailer jack, raising the corner jacks and then raising the tongue of the trailer with the trailer jack. Sounds complicated, right! It’s easier than it sounds.

Here comes the precision part. “Movers” need some backing skills (a back up camera can make you an expert on day one). They need to align the trailer coupler with the 2” ball so that the trailer coupler can be lowered onto the ball and locked into place. Then the safety chains get hooked up and the wiring harness plugged into the 4 flat wiring connector. A walk around is done to check lights on the trailer and to make sure no bottles and cans are likely to fall out of the trailer in transit (first it would be littering and second, those are our dimes!).

Once the “Mover” has hauled a full one and dropped it off at the sorting site, then an empty one needs to be put back so the process can continue.

“Sorters”: OK, so we have one or more full trailers, now what. Well we have another heretofore undisclosed job title. That is where the “Sorter” comes in.

The outside “Sorters”, when gathered, will descend upon a full trailer, like Lions on a wildebeest, emptying the trailer and separating glass from everything else and sending the aluminum and plastic redeemables to the sorting table and the inside “Sorters”. The redeemable glass containers are stored outside in large bins for later pickup by OBRC.

The sorting table works best with 4 “Sorters” on the line.

The first “Sorter” empties container onto the table. Any glass containers which may have slipped by the outside “Sorters” are taken off the table. Then the first “Sorter” works on separating small plastic from large plastic (2 liter and larger) but they also have to separate Pepsi brands from all the others.

The second “Sorter” helps separate out the plastic containers while moving the cans towards the end of the table and sorting out Pepsi cans from the rest.

The third “Sorter” scoops the remaining cans into the “other cans box” while keeping an eye out for the occasional missed Pepsi brand.

The fourth “Sorter” has plastic liners and spare boxes ready to swap for full ones. They assist in changing out sorting boxes and tying and stacking the bags inside the cargo container and keeping the inside line moving.

The Aftermath: Upon conclusion of the aforementioned sorting, the resulting garbage and “other“ recyclables are either transported for appropriate disposal or stored for disposal after the next sort if space allows.

When the cargo container is fairly full, we contact OBRC for pickup, telling them how many bins of glass and an approximate count on bags of cans, small plastic and large plastic if possible. The OBRC truck comes as soon as the next day or as long as 2 weeks after we call them.

OBRC will send Lion Treasurer Dave a nice check shortly thereafter.

Pepsi Consternation: OK you probably noticed above that Pepsi Brands are sorted separately from everything else. Our local Pepsi Distributor does not participate in OBRC which means the OBRC doesn’t take Pepsi in our area. The result is that we have to take the Pepsi products back to the Pepsi Distributor in The Dalles for redemption. This has to be done weekdays between 2 PM & 4 PM. Then Pepsi sends us a check for those items.

Leos: When we started our Bottles & Cans program, there was concern for the impact on the Leo’s recycling on the first Saturday of the month. We decided we would help them if it appeared that our program was impacting theirs. We have been letting them have the contents of the trailer at Hood River Supply most months which varies depending on when we last sorted. They seem happy with that and it gives a few days of breathing room before we have to sort again.

The Leos had a cargo container at NAPA till last year when NAPA needed the space. The Leo’s stored their containers there for pickup by OBRC and functioned independently of us till they lost that spot. Since then we have added their product to ours, and using an accurate formula developed by Lion Scott Thomson, we calculate the value of their recycling and cut them a check from our account. We get it back when OBRC sends us our check because this is included in the total!

Whew, hope you took a break or at least blinked while reading this!

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