La Crisis: Recycling Lines

(Click on pic for a larger version)

I’ve spent time waiting in recycling lines before, but this one struck me as being massively long. You must take into account the other waiting people outside this frame, towards the left of the photo, whom left a gap to allow car traffic to come in and out of the parking lot. We were turning a corner and I just barely managed to turn on my camera to snap this one pic, but I’d say there were at least another 5-7 people waiting to turn some cans and bottles into a few dollars.  Consider also that this was on a Tuesday around noon, not a common time for the casual weekend I-want-my-money-back recycler. These all appeared to be jobbers. Also note that is was just off Atlantic Blvd in Monterey Park, certainly not a place I’d expect this scene. Monterey Park, Montebello, and the areas beyond always seemed like neighborhoods that represented a first step beyond urban poverty, at least to me. I don’t know what’s happening out there right now but I’m seeing some familiar sights.

When the non-wino class starts getting into this less than lucrative business, that’s when you know things are getting tough.

10 thoughts on “La Crisis: Recycling Lines

  1. I’ve never seen lines like the ones I’ve seen in the past year. It’s nuts. Part of it has to do with RePlanet cutting their automated hours (you used to be able to stuff in the machine till really late at night, now just 9 to 5) but most of it is the economy. I go to the RePlanet near La Canada and it used to just be dopers, grandpas, and the help and now ladies in their tennis outfits and laid off dads are standing in line too.

  2. That’s something that caught my eye the other afternoon while riding the 81 bus. Lots of people at recycling centers all along Figueroa. Even noticed this past weekend, the one outside the Pavilion’s on Fair Oaks in the ghetto of South Pasadena was crowded.

  3. i would have to say to i have noticed alot longer lines at the recycling centers as well.

  4. The market on the corner of my block just added a new recycling pickup, even though it’s only 4 blocks from a big recycling operation, and both have crazy lines, and not just homeless folks either.

  5. Yeah thats the new reality, y lo que trae la necesidad.

    Here where I live in Montebello, my street we have an alley behind our home,and its not rare to see people or trucks rolling down looking for recycle-ables especially early in the morning or on trash pick up day.

    Y tambien the other day waiting for the bus,on my way back home, I saw a lady middle class looking, she pulled a couple aluminum cans from the trash can next to the bus shelter stop over at 9th st near Hill St. and put them into a plastic bag she was carrying along with her purse.

    – haci es la vida now

  6. Thanks for the link Walt! I thought this part of the article is particularly telling:

    “Throughout the summer, Northeast LAPD Commander Bill Murphy has warned residents to be cautious of property crimes in light of the current economic recession. In his monthly newsletter posted on a local community Internet message board, Murphy reports robberies in the Northeast Division are 7.4 percent higher than this time last year. Overall, there are 21 more reported cases of robberies compared to this point one year ago. He also stated that there has been an increase in cases of car-break-ins and shopliftings in Highland Park.”

    Yup, Bratton is leaving right in time…

  7. I GET Paid only once a month, so recycling “supplements” my income. I’m able to buy the “little things” I need during the month;eggs,toilet paper,bus fare,dish washing liquid, etc. A lot of raza work at these recycling places; I go to ones on Main and College and Alameda and Firestone. Unfortunately, some of the raza that work there are a-holes,trying to give you less than you deserve. Example if you accidentally leave a plastic or glass bottle in your aluminum can basket, they will deduct money just because of that, up to 25 cents a pound. So, really segregate your recycables. Also the jerk on Main and College will close at 3:20 p.m. on Saturdays even though they advertise that there open til 4:00. Don’t ever catch them on a lunch break: they will take their sweet ass time to attend to you, they will chew on their lunch, slowly and deliberately and pretend you’re invisible until they are good and ready. Still, the places I go offer the best prices per pound. The recyclers at bi-rite,food for less, and daly(called Latino Recyclers even though they are Armenian) are middle men and they take a piece of your profit per pound.

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