Zixu Augustin Lee and his friend interviewed a couple of old cardboard collectors two days ago and reconfirmed that they need the money to survive and at this age it’s very difficult to find a better job.
They don’t own any property and mostly rent 1-bedroom HDB flat (no bedroom).
The middleman’s truck will come around once in 2 to 3 days, when the collectors got wind that the lorry is coming, it will be like great news to them and they will rush hurriedly to push their collections of cardboard to the lorry.
It’s not easy for them as some have problem walking promptly to the lorry before it goes off to another destination.
The lady in the picture was carrying 3 full bags of recycled items – our team member offered to help her carried some bags and she smiled with heartfelt gratitude.
We also interviewed the middleman who owns the lorry, they have been in the trade for more than 10 years and know all the old folks collectors very well.
They estimated that around 30 %to 40% are really poor and they desperately need the money to survive. The rest are doing this part time and try to supplement their income as they are either poor or needed extra income.
When we ask them why the old folks need to do such jobs, they re-confirm that it’s difficult to find other jobs and they do it for survival reason.
They also said that no one does it to kill time or do it as a form of exercise.
Editor’s note: Augustine is the team leader of our previous two cardboard collector projects. This report is filed by him.
If you want to volunteer with us for the next forthcoming cardboard project, please let us know.
No one will be left behind.
Reproduced with permission from Gilbert Goh.
Tan Chuan Jin: Old people who collect cardboard are just exercising