Collecting roadside beer cans — and stories of drinking and trash-tossing drivers

The Editor:

Well, I am sure you heard or seen us picking cans and bottles at the side of the road since the end of March of this year. Luckily enough, the green grass is growing and hiding all the evidence and mass amounts of garbage out there.

On Wednesday, May 29, 2019, we descended on the Kemptville Beer Store (we called ahead to make arrangements) and deposited our findings.

Almost 300 km, several different roads, some main highways (some we picked the year before), early mornings and endless pickings, only to bring in 5,420 beer/liquor cans, which is stated at the top of the supplied receipt from the Beer Store.

My daughter Lakeisha and I have been collecting empties for about the last four years, while getting intense this year. My soon-to-be wife Julie Gaumond always asks when we are coming home. We get going, and we can’t stop. It’s unbelievable out there. Unfortunately, we are only collecting cans for the money. We are guilty, and we are sorry to leave a lot out there in our ditches. It is sad, especially in the spring, what people are throwing out. Everything from mattresses, tires, propane tanks, and we can’t forget the Tim Hortons cups. I wish Timmies would put a price on their paper cups because I think we would be millionaires.

In addition to cans, we collect many numerous stories on our routes, seeing repetitive offenders doing the same thing every day or second day. One of those is a drinker who crushed four of the same size and kind of cans, on the same side of the road, in a 1 km stretch, just two weeks after we picked the road. Another was closer to Osgoode, near a certain sign, with all the empties found near and around the sign. The worst is another driver throwing out his bag of garbage, which has his lunch or supper wrappers strategically placed over top of a brown LCBO paper bag with four cans of Blackfly Vodka in it. What’s wrong with that, you ask? Well, when you follow the eight bags — yes eight bags — all in a ditch on the same road and same side along with his scattered same-kind cans, you know there is a problem with an alcoholic. There is a story for every route we do.

I am always scoping out roads to do. One day I drove on Dalmeny Road and saw the shoulders lined with evidence. I couldn’t imagine the ditches. I said, I’ve got to do this one day. So, sure enough one early Saturday morning, 5:30 a.m., while everyone was sleeping, I ventured out alone and picked a 13 km stretch of Dalmeny Road, both sides, which resulted in 781 beer/liquor cans and numerous beer bottles and liquor bottles.

I could go on and on, but really, all you’ve got to do is drive the roads, and you will see the empties lying on the shoulders of the roads, and I will let you conclude what’s going on out there.

Needless to say, as we are dropping off the empties, it is unbelievable the amount of customers who come in after work — or where ever — and buy only two cold cans and leave the store only to throw the cans in the passenger seat. Hmmmm, wonder how long they will last before they get home? Bravo!

I am no angel, and I drank and drove in my days and chucked my bottles out the window. But the consequences are crazy nowadays. I just don’t understand why you want to jeopardize your life and family.

Anyways, with that being said, Lakeisha and I took home $647.90. My daughter says $500 is going straight into her bank account, with the rest of the money that she has collected over the years.

We will see you next year.

Paul Allan
Winchester

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