How Much Do Recycling Centers Pay; Any Insight on Why Old People Do It?

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Hi Everyone,

Being at home due to this Coronavirus, I was interested to observe people digging through my apartment block's trash bin.

Very quickly, I recognized they wanted my recyclables and cardboard.

I do applaud these people, and have occasionally given them money, as I realize they are working hard, even during the snow and Coronavirus times.

I am curious, though, whether they do this just to stay active in old age, or because they need the money?

I know, in the US, some sweet deals for recycling centers are up to 5 cents per aluminum can, 25 cents for a glass bottle, etc.  At that rate, for old people who want something to do, and exercise, it could be feasible.

Do we know how much China pays? 



  • Lord of Avalon
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i think every city has different rates here but it's not much.

These elder folks tends to do it for many reasons and it's not really much about the money:
1- Majority has nothing better to do so it's a way to kill time and have a purpose
2- The grew up at a time when resources were scarce so they don't like wastage
3- it's a couple of kuais at best that go towards their mahjong expenses.

at least that's how i see it
alors régressons fatalement, eternellement. Des débutants, avec la peur comme exutoire à l'ignorance et Alzheimer en prof d'histoire de nos enfances!
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Thanks for the insight.

Still, for some reason, I look at it as a good thing.

I mean, when I am old, the worst existence I have would be sitting on the sofa, watching TV all day.

If I could simply have something like this, I could have some purpose, get some exercise along the way, and make some money.  In fact, few jobs actually make money, have some social good, and protect the environment along the way.

I also would not mind tree planting as a job.  In Canada, I heard you can make up to 300 USD a day, eat great catered food, get some exercise, and are helping to plant trees for the environment to use later on.



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We often sell our boxes, cardboard, styrofoam, water bottles, etc.  We don't make much; however, the buyers will usually cart it away for us if we let the stuff accumulate for a while.  Also, it is not just older adults buying it from us, so there must be a paying market for it all.


Escaped Lunatic

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When I lived in an apartment, I'd set my plastic bottles and cardboard separately.  Those who hunted recyclables seemed to appreciate it.

I'm currently saving up an assortment of metal to feed into a recycling machine.  Doubt I'll get more than a few jiao for it.  Part of it is a big pile of rusty nails I collected from a grassy area in the village.
I'm pro-cloning and we vote!               Why isn't this card colored green?

Yeh I remember being equally puzzled by this!  Interesting to hear from the others here.  I remember saving up all my plastic bottles in a clean bin, then going outside in the evening to present them to the nearest old person.  They REALLY liked that haha