Our local tip has changed. It was once a shopping mall for recycled, but organised products. That's when our local man, Peter overseered it. As you would drive in and pay for your deposit, Peter would direct you to the appropriate department:
"Metals? Over to the right, love" and "Domestic waste only? Straight up ahead, take a right at the 'Y' and throw it in the big pit".
Before we moved our engineering business to the home block in the country and the Machinist worked in town, the weekly garbage run was my responsibility. The children and I would load several rubbish bins onto the back of the ute, drive to the tip and head towards the correct area for dumping our waste. Sometimes, we nearly fell into the Big Pit, as we were tipping the bins upside down. (I come out in a rash just thinking about this).
On occasions when the Machinist had the opportunity to do the tip run, he would return with 'salvageable, valuable items'. The Machinist could always see the potential of many products in several departments of the tip, and often had fantasies of what he could make with them. To this day, we have overpacked mezzanine floors in the workshop - a testament of said fantasies.
Nowadays, however, we are not allowed to select products from the tip when dumping "the weeklies". Fees to dump have increased. Although there are Council employees at the gate taking the money, they have no passion. Several departments have been amalgamated, so even if one was allowed to shop, one would have to search high and low through several other items to find (or discover) the product one would want. Oops, I meant need.
This past weekend the Machinist and I took a trip to our local tip. We had a ute and large trailer load full. The Machinist bartered with the guy on the gate.
"You've got a lot there, mate", observed the gatekeeper.
"Yes, but most of it is metal for recycling"
"Okay, let me think what to charge you for ...."
"Fifteen dollars should cover it, yes?"
The gatekeeper was silent for a while, his eyes speedily scanning the contents of our vehicle.
"Ok. Fifteen it is. That'll do."
The Machinist passed me the money to give to the gatekeeper. I couldn't even look at the guy, and merely held out my left hand so that he could take the fee, muttering a weak, hushed 'thank-you'.
The Machinist sure can drive a bargain, but I hate to be around when he does!