Can collector boosts Bronco activities at Parkrose

Find out why, on the first Saturday of every month (including Dec. 1), the Can Man Clan works to turn recyclable cans and bottles into cash to help the Bronco Boosters …

Members of the Parkrose High School Band, and their adult sponsors, help the “Can Man” Dave Luce (shyly ducking out of this photo) at their November 3 collection day.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Dave Luce is a man who appears torn about getting publicity. He usually declines being photographed; our interviews are typically brief.

Yet, Luce wants everyone to know about – and pitch in at – the Parkrose Can Drive, the first Saturday of every month at Parkrose Middle School.

Luce, also known as the “Can Man” in Parkrose, states his mission succinctly. “I collect deposit-refundable aluminum cans, plastic and glass bottles. At the monthly can drive, 100% of the funds are turned over to the Parkrose High Bronco Boosters and their Parkrose Scholarship Fund.”

But that’s not all. At companies and organizations throughout the community, Luce has placed 215 large can-collection barrels. “They call when they are full, and I exchange it for an empty barrel. Those funds go directly to the Senior All Night Party Committee.”

Even though Luce no longer has kids attending Parkrose Schools, he keeps at it, “because it is a good thing to do. I still support all the sporting programs, and I like to help them out. I like to see kids do well.”

Can sorter supreme
Deposit refunds on “house brand” sodas, sold by stores like Fred Meyer, Walgreens, Wal-Mart, and Costco, can only be redeemed at the selling store. So, Luce sorts the cans. “I take them to the right store and put the cans in their machines; but I can’t exceed the limit.”

But, Luce lauds the managers of the Fred Meyer store at SE 148th Avenue at SE Division Street, who let him cash in over the limit; and of the Safeway store at NE 122 Avenue at NE Glisan Street, who permit him to bring in counted and prepared bags of Safeway-branded cans.

The standard national brands, Luce says, he takes to CR Inc., located behind Montgomery Park in NW Portland. “I don’t handle the money; checks are cut to either the Bronco Boosters or to the Senior All Night Party Committee.”

School groups get credit and cash
When we stop by to visit on November 3, the Parkrose High School Band crew is busy sorting and bagging cans and bottles.

“Each month, kids from different school groups help out with the event,” Luce explains. “That group gets community service credit, and a portion of the day’s proceeds.”

Save those cans for Dave … and the kids …
Remember, Luce and his helpers will be waiting for you on Saturday, December 1 from 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Bring your deposit-return cans and bottles with you to help support these community efforts. The depot is at Parkrose Middle School, on NE Shaver Street, across from the high school. If you have sizable loads – or know a good place for Dave Luce to install a recycling barrel – call him at (503) 255-3745.

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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