We’ve all seen the bag lady pushing her shopping cart full of cans and bottles portrayed on TV. Some of us have seen them in real life as well. This type of portrayal has shed a negative view against the activity of bottle picking also called dumpster diving. Most people in society wouldn’t be caught dead doing this type of work. Most would dread the embarrassment of picking bottles on the side of the road, looking into trashcans and smelly dumpsters . Fortunately there are thousands of brave Americans using this as an income source, while helping the environment as well as improving their health.
The first benefit of course is the money. Bottles and cans can bring a redemption rate of 5 to 15 cents each, depending on what state you live in. Some bottle redemption centers offer a slightly higher amount to get you to use their services. A redemption center in my area offers $.06 for a five cent can. People can make hundreds of dollars a day or week depending on how much dirty work one is willing to do. The money that can be made can vary day to day due to the supply and may also depend on the time of year. In Maine where I live, spring is the best time for roadside bottle picking. The snow melts and all the bottles and cans tossed away all winter can be easily grabbed and recycled. It is not unusual to see people all along the roads and in the ditches with their bags in hand. Lakeland dumpster rental claims that people can actually earn a lot of money in dumpster diving. It could certainly save lives specially in times of crisis.
Another benefit of dumpster diving is that it helps the environment. People participating in this type of self employment are actually recycling glass, plastic and aluminum that would otherwise be buried in a landfill forever. This helps everyone, including our children and grandchildren.
One more benefit to bottle picking or dumpster diving is health. Weight loss from walking, bending and lifting can definitely outweigh the negatives for some. Climbing into smelly dumpsters, getting dirty and sticky or an occasional sneer from some unkind strangers are all negatives that can be washed away and forgotten. The fact is a person could get in great shape doing this job a few hours a day and make money too.
Before we judge or look down on people we see looking for bottles in trash cans and dumpsters we may want to take a different position on the issue. These people have the guts to get out there and do what most of us won’t. The next time you hear someone say “Look at that lazy bum, picking bottles”. , remind him or her that it was a lazy person that put the bottles in the trash in the first place.