There is a stack of newspapers, magazines and junk mail in the back of Gordon Emerson's Dodge Grand Caravan.
Emerson guesses it's around 300 pounds. It's all ready to go and the next time he is in the area, he will stop at Minot Area Vocational Workshop to drop it off, he explained.
Emerson, 88, is the unofficial recycling man at Edgewood Vista, where he has lived for the past eight years.
Gordon Emerson, 88, a resident of Edgewood Vista, estimates there is about 300 pounds worth of recycled material in the back of his van. Emerson, who has lived at Edgewood Vista since 2004, has taken on the task of ferrying the recyclables to the Minot Area Vocational Workshop’s recycling plant. Edgewood Vista then uses the money to purchase prizes for bingo.
James C. Falcon/MDN
"When we moved here, I asked them what they were doing with their paper," Emerson explained. "They said 'Going out into the garbage.' I told them that if they had a spot to drop them off, I would take them out and pull them off for recycling."
There are at least two spots at Edgewood Vista where recycling is being collected. Then, when it's time, Emerson takes the recycling to his van, where he deposits it in the trunk.
"I hate to see all that paper going to waste," he said.
Sometimes, his van has 400 to 500 pounds of recycled material ready for the MVAW recycling plant.
"Last time was 200," Emerson pointed out. "It depends if I'm going out that way, (then) I'll dump them off."
He usually makes a trip once a week to MVAW, where he gets a penny for every pound he brings in. While the material only brings in a few dollars a month, it adds up. At the end of the year, it brings in about $150.
"They use it here to buy bingo prizes," Emerson said. "They play bingo a lot here, with the people."
While bingo isn't exactly Emerson's cup of tea, he said that his days are filled with coffee groups at Town and County, as well as doing "flunky work" painting signs and odd jobs at Lowe's Garden and Floral.
Taking care of the recycling at Edgewood Vista gives him a feeling that he's doing good, he said.
"It's kind of nice to be able to feel useful," he added.