New York

Hands Off My Old Cans

By Andrej Mrevlje |

Their job description: Scavenger. They have been there for years, going from street to street from trash bin to shop to bar to restaurant. They collect the empty glass and plastic bottles, the aluminum cans. They take them and carefully separate them into different transparent bags. They clean the city by taking trash to the recycling hubs where they get paid a few cents per piece. The scavengers are doing a socially useful job. Though perhaps jobless and homeless, these people take care of themselves by collecting the garbage that others cast away. They preserve their dignity by earning a few dollars a day.

There are sometimes moving personal stories behind these people, who we pass on the street without much thought; documentaries have been made about them. But now, after fighting one pointless battle against the horses in Central Park, Mayor de Blasio has now turned his guns against these folks. He is accusing them of stealing City property.

How more ridiculous can this get?

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