I lived in west North Park in an apartment right on University Avenue for eight years, starting 1989. We always put our recyclables out next to the dumpster, and they were always gone by the next morning. Perfect. Otherwise it would be called littering.

Now I live in east North Park. Every two weeks we put out the blue bin for recyclables for the city to pick up. Homeless people often roam the street clearing out the bins. I'd go out at about 6:00-7:00 a.m. and holler "Don't make a mess!" Many have, but I'd still rather give it to homeless than the govt.

Last couple months, there's only one guy working our street. He never makes a mess. He wears an orange industrial apron, and manages to push a shopping cart with like 12 lawn bags of recyclables about. It's amazing -- looks like a massive black Jiffy Pop - like 8' wide and 7' high. I can't see how he keeps it all together. I asked him in the past where he goes to recycle. It's east 2-3 miles away. This week he said he was not going up the substantial hill on Swift St. because the load is too heavy, so he had to go around northwest (Landis) then east down University.

I asked his name: It's Ninwood. He said that's what his mom called him. I said, "That's a weird name. I'm T.C." That's supposed to be irony for storytelling purposes. But this guy is pretty cool, and works very hard, so don't run him down and do let him collect your recyclables.

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