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A binner checking the trapline

July 17, 2014

Not a naturally tenable position for a spider’s web but just try telling the spider.

The habit among homeless people and binners is to re-purpose things. This applies to language as well as garbage.

So a shopping cart becomes a “house” and wherever a person sleeps rough can be styled a “campsite”. The things people leave beside the garbage are referred to as “tips” and the people who regularly give returnable bottles to binners become “customers”.

A binner may refer to the route he regularly picks returnable bottles and cans along as his “trapline” but he doesn’t necessarily say that he checks that trapline, rather he might “mow the grass” and he probably then tells other binners he encounter to “quit mowin’ my grass!”

And when older street people in Vancouver refer to “spiders” there’s a good chance they’re referring to the dribble of alcohol often left in discarded liquor and wine bottles.

This spider’s bin busy


Real spiders are all walk and no talk. They know nothing of the verbal silliness binners and homeless people get up to. But spiders do know about recycling and garbage bins — good places to catch flies.

I’ve seen spiders try to maintain webs across the mouth of container recycling bins. Yesterday I saw that a spider had strung a line between two back-to-back container recycling bins.

Hard to photograph — the little geezil kept shuttling back and forth along the line between the two bins. Click the images above to enlarge them.



  1. Slowcrow permalink

    Great analogy re: traplines (observed through prairie-born eyes). đŸ™‚ being a native wet-coaster, i saw them fishermen, making their ‘set’, then it’s just more ‘hurry up and wait’. (time for crib) Seems like the good crib players have either done jail time, or been commercial fisherpeople……… Maybe that was just in the old days though, before devices and the interweb thingy……;)


    • Never ever played cribbage. That’s where you move a peg from hole to hole on a little board? That looks like the process of binning.


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