summer employment

… consists of marshaling often recalcitrant teenagers to various beautiful locales on the North Bay where we remove invasive plants, etc. Here are some snaps from a day of our training, where we supervisors visited a local transfer station. That’s where your waste goes before it’s shipped to China (if it’s recyclable), or to the dump (if not).

Devi, our guide.

Part of the waste paper sorting process. Here they remove cardboard for hours on end.

Standing in front of bales of #1 plastic – one of two varieties that can be recycled into a container again. (Other numbers get downcycled – to carpets, or fleece, for example).

Ever notice how most every-day household items made of plastic say, “made in China”? They have a robust recycling industry there. Plants range from state-of-the-art to wholly unregulated.

Each bale of aluminum goes for about $2000-$3000, depending on the market.

We watched this tractor shovel vast piles of malodorous refuse back and forth from the chute whence it dropped.

The owner of this facility saves produce that groceries label as sub-par from being dumped. Instead, it feeds his collection of pigs, chickens, turkeys, and peacocks (as well as a healthy population of freeloading rats).


We take our job very seriously.

My zeal for climbing has been reignited by a trip to the Owens River Gorge in Bishop, CA. This trip coincided with the end of my last job, at Walker Creek Ranch. Goodbye, kiddos!

One creature to another.