The back lane to my abode is well-travelled, as far as back lanes go. Partly this is because I live in a fairly busy neighbourhood, where daytime work traffic is replaced by night time going out traffic, with only a few hours of relative calm in between. Partly it is due to the fact that the main road through the neighbourhood is a one-way street, and travelling down back lanes is a necessary part of getting around.
And last, but definitely not least, it is because the back lane serves as a tributary to the raging stream that is the Great Bottle Return Silk Route. Living within a few hundred metres of a hotel beer vendor/bottle depot, we experience a fair bit of traffic from drunks/entrepreneurs trafficking in alcoholic beverage containers. Mostly they are passing through, but they aren't opposed to further collection in the final stages of their journey.
I've always wondered whether I overestimate the extent to which these types travel the highways and byways of the neighbourhood. A too-frequent topic of discussion is how long an unguarded kitty of bottles would last in that lane. Today I will find out.
I aim to test not only the frequency but also the sophistication of these back alley businessmen. The honeypot includes:
- a mixmatched six-pack of bottles, which the depot will accept, with a word of reproach for failing to correctly organize the case
- 4 loose bottles, two of which are kosher, two others which are non-traditional sizes from homebrews and will not be accepted
- 3 loose cans, also acceptable
Here's how it looks at 11:40 am. The bottles are no more than half a metre from the rutted snowy tire tracks of the lane.
Seven (7) Half Pints, one (1) Rickards' Red, two (2) Bavaria, one (1) Fort Gibraltar, two (2) non-refundable homebrew bottles
12:40 pm: Situation unchanged. As a further test of the bottleman's mindset, I dropped 55 cents in change beside the box. Does the man who trolls the streets picking up discarded bottles feel that bending over to pick up loose change is beneath him? I fear, though, that the change will soon be obscuring by a thin layer of light snow.
Stay tuned for updates.
2:15 pm: Still no change.