Recycling Helps Henryetta Man Stretch Time

Wednesday, April 22nd 2009, 5:35 pm
By: News On 6

By Rick Wells, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- For many, recycling cans around Earth Day is a way of helping the environment.

But for one Henryetta man, recycling aluminum cans is a way of stretching time.

Thousands upon thousands of aluminum cans are being recycled at CMC Recycling in northeast Tulsa.

"There are a lot of people who save up for Earth Day," employee Matt Bell said.

Thirty to 40 daily can customers swells to 10 times that many near Earth Day.

Brek Short of Henryetta takes his cans to Tulsa because the price is better. He has been collecting since last Earth Day.

The News On 6 saw him unloading his Earth Day haul at CMC last year. He has been battling a brain tumor for seven years, and it's getting the best of him.

"He can't do any more chemo," said his wife, Sherri Short. "He's done all there is to do. He's done all the radiation he can do."

Brek Short gets treatments to slow the tumor's progress and buy some more time, hoping for another Earth Day and all the days in between.

He is pretty good at stretching time. Doctors gave him six months to live seven years ago.

Gathering the cans isn't necessarily fundraising. It's a way of being productive. Short hasn't been able to work for four years, and accumulating cans for Earth Day gives him a goal.

It took a few minutes to get them unloaded, all the strays picked up and everything weighed.

The result was 740 pounds. At 43 cents each, he made $314.20.

Short said he hoped to be back next year.

CMC Recycling's Earth Day deal, 43 cents a pound for aluminum cans, also includes hot dogs and T-shirts. It runs through noon Saturday.

The business is on 170th East Avenue just north of Pine Street.