I work for a RR in Wisconsin and I pick up 5 gal buckets of coal also. All Bit coal out of Eastern Kentucky for the University in Madison. Rolls out of the cars on our old tracks. Some times a door opens on a empty car and the extra that didn't get unloaded it spills out. Some times I even get lucky and pick up some coke that falls out of the coke hoppers also. Just break it up in brickette size and toss it in.
All my neighbors are older and remember coal for heat so the smell and smoke doesn't get me in trouble as of yet. Plus they all know I work for a RR. Some of the stories I get downtown in the village I live in and in the neighborhood are priceless about the coal, trains and family's picking up the coal from the dealer. I have found some to still have the coal (bricketts) in the basement or barn. I have bought some of it and WOW the burn you get. And with some of it being 40 to 50 yrs old.