A common site in the early mornings near where I live in Nagoya is a man on a bicycle festooned with tin cans. Each area puts out its plastic, cans and bottles on a different day to be picked up by the city's recycling trucks.
Before the truck arrives, a homeless person on a bicycle will come and gather all the beer and other aluminium drinks cans.
The cans are sold to a recycler for 30 yen (about 33 cents) a kilo. I reckoned the man had about 30 kilos of cans attached to his bike. That's 900 yen for a morning's work, enough to buy some food and maybe a cup of sake but little else.
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Thursday, October 15, 2009