Ages ago, Danger and I used to spend out Sunday mornings wandering around looking for breakfast, looking at trucks, and whatever else that struck a wild boy's fancy at the time. During those wanderings, we picked up aluminum cans. We would turn them in at a self-operated shredder, which would spit out a penny for each can. I let him keep the money.
At some point, he started calling out "Penny!" when he saw a can somewhere. This confused the maternal unit for a while, but he explained it to her.
During these outings, I usually stopped by the computer labs that I managed for a small liberal arts college of the Church. Imagine that! Me? Working for a college of the Church. Methodist, to be exact. And they paid me too.
Outside the lab was a couple of barrels, each with a plastic bag liner. Students deposited cans in the barrels as they entered the labs. Can't have people spilling Coke all over the computers, you know.
One morning, Josh was noodling about in the hall, and he discovered the barrels and what was in them. He called me at the top of his lungs, sort of like if a bear were about to eat him. Pennies! So yes, we loaded those two large barrel bags full of cans into the back of my Ranger pickup, and hauled them off to the shredder. He received almost a dollar that morning, and every Sunday thereafter that we went by my work. He used the spoils of his labor to buy bubblegum, which mostly never made it back home in the wrapper.
Looking back, I feel a pang of guilt. I'm very certain that the housekeeping staff used those cans to augment the hourly wages the school paid.