When the Brooklyn clothing factory where she worked closed its doors, Josefa Marín started picking up cans and bottles from trash cans to make ends meet.A decade later, the 50-year-old Mexican immigrant is handed hundreds of recyclables by bars and clubs and by concierges of private buildings, who know her so well that they even give her the keys to their trash rooms so she can take what she needs.For Marín, working alongside her partner, Pedro Galicia, canning is a little business that allows her to pay bills, cover her $1,500 per month rent and put food on the table for two kids.“This is our job, we have learned to survive doing this, whether it’s hot in the summer or cold in the winter,” she said, hunkered down wearing plastic gloves, while fishing through containers.In one of the most expensive cities in the world, where monthly rents in wealthy neighborhoods surpass $10,000, people who scour through trash might be viewed by some as probably homeless, but many so-called canners refute that claim.They are called “bottle professionals” by some redemption centers employees who describe them as people who know by heart each recycling and trash pick-up route,… Read full this story
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