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Waste Not

I was working in Bangladesh where my guy, Beeshoo asked if he could have a pallet. All our materials were palletized as part of shipping, so pallets were ubiquitous and I was happy for him to have it. On lunch break, Beeshoo would squat, butt a half inch off of the ground, his knees and ears at a level plane. He would remove a cluster of nails from a slat then rotate the pallet and remove the next cluster of nails. When complete he had a neat stack of wood and a pile of nails. He then scrutinized the nails much like a jeweler might a precious gem. If he was able to straighten the nail for reuse it went into one pile, if not, it went into a recycling pile.

As part of a standing order my company sent a fifty pound box of nails for every job. Well, we didn’t use nails…ever! When working in a place like Bangladesh, with a man like Beeshoo whose circumstances are such that a used nail is precious it changes your perspective. In 2020 Bangladesh ran a 40% debt to GDP percentage, we ran a 131% debt to GDP. They find used nails to be precious, we find no value in 50 pounds of new nails, which I find wildly inappropriate.


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