It was a beautiful sunny morning with a nice breeze last Tuesday, so I took my office outside to the front porch. As I sat writing the blog post Bargain Books Bonanza and sipping on my tea, I couldn’t help but notice it was recycle day and that my husband had put our old propane barbecue at the road the night before in the hopes someone might stop by and pick it up. It technically didn’t qualify as recycle but he put it out anyway. If nobody took it by the end of the day, he’d simply wheel it back in the garage until garbage day the next week and try again.
The recycle truck came and went picking up the contents of our bin and so there sat the empty recyle bin and the lonely old barbecue.
I began thinking about when we bought it 17 years ago. We’d just tied the knot the year before, moved into our first house and had a baby on the way. We needed a barbecue and my husband wanted a Napoleon! We bought one of the smaller models and it was a big purchase for us just starting out. It brought us so much joy over the years trying new recipes and entertaining. In a way it was kind of sad seeing it go but we’d stopped using it a couple of years ago when we switched to a larger gas unit. Seemed fitting I suppose because we moved from that first house 11 years ago, too, for a larger house after six years. I still see our first house from my kitchen window. Yes, we moved around the corner buying our neighbour’s house on the quiet court behind and she bought our house but that’s a different story for another blog post.
I went back to my writing when all of a sudden a large truck pulled up to my house and two men got out to pick up the barbecue. I made eye contact and told them to go ahead and please take it. At first I figured they were some sort of dealers who refurbished people’s junk to sell. Then I noticed the logo on the door that said “Scrap for Food” and I was intrigued. I needed to know more. I asked how they knew about my barbecue. Turns out it was purely coincidental that they found it. These men didn’t scour the streets looking for other people’s garbage. They were on a pre-arranged appointment to pick up an appliance that was being donated on the street next to me. As they left their call, they saw the barbecue and decided to turn on to my little court.
The driver of the truck explained they are a non-profit organization that collects donations of scrap metal, which they then sort and transport to a recycling scrap yard where it is sold. The money collected is used to purchase food for those in need including local food banks, soup kitchens and shelters. The men asked if I would mention their service to my friends and colleagues. Better yet, I decided to spread the word with the world or whomever reads my blog!
Mike Reynos, President and founder of Scrap for Metal explained he does this as a volunteer and that he’d finished his night shift at the hospital at 6:00 a.m. that morning and hadn’t slept yet. I was deeply touched by the motivation and dedication of the pair.
Our first barbecue will continue to live on indirectly by helping feed others.
On the “Sugar Scale” [my unofficial recipe rating system], the Scrap for Metal initiative scored a 10 out of 10. It provides a very useful way to dispose of used and obsolete household items and make a meaningful difference in the lives of others.
The views expressed in this post are purely my own. See my disclosure policy for more information.