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An enormous percentage of our population is active or retired military.

What a lot of people do is work for the Air Force or Army for twenty years and retire to Colorado Springs, working for a private contractor doing the same job as before (Space Systems Engineering, for example) for three times the pay, while drawing military retirement benefits.

Which means I’m in the minority, and I’m constantly telling people behind cash registers “No, I don’t have a military I. In California, we recycled because it’s required by law.

It was just part of our routine—we’d set out our color-coded recycling bins (green/yellow/blue) at the curb next to the garbage can on trash day.

It’s one of the most lucrative deals I’ve ever heard of.

I like and support our military (my Great Grandfather served in the Army, my Grandpa served in the Air Force and my Uncle served in the Marines), but, alas, I personally haven’t been in the military myself.

A few weeks in, I noticed that there are some strange quirks about living in Colorado (and Colorado Springs, specifically) that I hadn’t expected.


We came here for many reasons: clean air, minimal pollution, very little traffic, low crime rates, low taxes, and (most importantly), we had family here.

) major military installations here: NORAD, Air Force Academy, Ft. I’ve heard estimates that military spending accounts for 70-80% of our local economy, and those figures don’t surprise me.

Most local shops in town offer “military discounts” for active-duty military, and you’ll frequently see soldiers dressed in combat fatigues when you’re shopping or out for dinner.

So if you’re at a BBQ at a friend’s house, don’t bother looking for a recycling bin for your soda or beer can. [Update, 2015: As of last year, my local trash service has started offering single-stream recycling, and I signed up as soon as I found out about it. The first time I drove by a high school and saw a lacrosse game, I thought the girls soccer team was running around catching butterflies.

So naturally, after moving here, I figured that recycling would be .A few years ago, I tried to find a place where I could recycle our glass bottles because I felt bad always throwing them in the trash. Only one recycling center told me they take my glass bottles if I wanted, but I wouldn’t get paid anything, and I would have to drop them off since they wouldn’t pick them up. And it only took them a decade and a half to catch up! It’s a game of supposedly American Indian origin, where high school kids run around on grass fields wearing enormous safety goggles and waving white nets.



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