Sunday, August 18, 2013

Recycling-net on waste-bins

When I first arrived in Vancouver, I wondered why their waste-bins typically have a separate net for "bottles/cans".

More impressive was that people actually bothered to set aside their recyclable bottles/cans in the separate bins provided.

Then as I walked down the streets one day, I noticed that there were poor and/or homeless folks collecting bottles/cans from these nets. Thus, it reduces the need for them to dig through the dirty waste bins. These bottles/cans can be taken to the recycling depot and exchanged for 5 cents (a nickel) per piece. Although there are still some poor/homeless folks who would pull out the tops of the waste-bins to search for recyclable bottles/cans, I noticed that they were less likely to do so if the "harvest" from the recycling net was good, moving on to the next bin instead.

If only waste-bin designs in Singapore take the poor/homeless recyclers into consideration. The short video below, although fictional, shows the Singapore situation. Actually, I have personally seen scavengers digging through dustbins with their bare hands -- I guess not much of a choice when survival is at stake.

Can -- by Linus Koh


  1. They don't, because according to one man's view, there are no poor or homeless people in Singapore. :)

  2. The poor cannot even collect empty cans from kopitiam...

    1. Hi Seraohim,

      Thanks for visiting and your comment.

      In the food courts here, I often see a recycling bin next to the waste bin. However, I have not seen the poor/homeless picking from those bins. Perhaps, security will be called to remove the "unwelcome visitors" from the private premises? I wonder what happens to the contents of those bins at the end of the day.

      Cheers, WD.