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Homeless men push carts full of empty cans they collected, in Tokyo.

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What was going on over to the right? They've got some happy leers on their faces!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Actually these guys are stealing the cans. It is actually a crime.

People who recycle (put out their cans on the correct day, etc) are doing so under the order of the city they live in, and the city are the ones who pay for collection. These guys should not be praised for what they are doing.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

This is Abenomics!?

9 ( +11 / -2 )

this is japan , if you are good and befitted power is with you . if you are not able you not equal human being ..... just money and lock down to under-developers .. ..... .

1 ( +3 / -2 )

kimuzukashiiiiiMay. 18, 2013 - 07:45AM JST Actually these guys are stealing the cans. It is actually a crime. People who recycle (put out their cans on the correct day, etc) are doing so under the order of the city they live in, and the city are the ones who pay for collection. These guys should not be praised for what they are doing........................................

These poor guys are homeless and without an income. Most likely no pension as well. The real crime is the Japanese system which forces people in to this position. Don't deny these people from collecting these old drink cans. With the way aluminium is priced these days, they would be lucky to even get 300 yen for a whole bag.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Chuichi HashimuraMay. 18, 2013 - 08:05AM JST

This is Abenomics!?..................................................................................................................................................................................

This is so called wealthy advanced Japan.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

kimuzukashiiiiiMay. 18, 2013 - 07:45AM JST People who recycle (put out their cans on the correct day, etc) are doing so under the order of the city they live in, and the city are the ones who pay for collection. These guys should not be praised for what they are doing.

Who's getting hurt? No-one. So if it is a crime the problem is with the legal system. A good legal system only makes laws to stop doing things where people get hurt (directly or indirectly). A bad legal system tries to fix what isn't broken.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Seriously, complaining about homeless guys taking a few empty cans no-one wants? Give em a break.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

People who recycle (put out their cans on the correct day, etc) are doing so under the order of the city they live in, and the city are the ones who pay for collection. These guys should not be praised for what they are doing.

First off you assume that all cities and districts are the same, they are most definitely not. Yes some locations have regulations against people picking up the trash for their own profit because the city counts on the recycle income to help cover the costs of trash removal.

However, not all locations have those regulations, notice I said regulation and not law? Next you assume that this guy collected these cans from locations where it is against the regulations. How do you know this to be a fact? Were you out there with him, checking up on him? For all you know someone may have given him those bags of cans. I know I have given my cans to a local guy who needs it? Why couldnt this guy be the same?

Instead of begrudging someone a chance for a few coins, why not help them instead of complain about them?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Frungy and VicMOsaka, What they are doing (IE taking cans which have been designated by individuals or companies for their own personal use) is illegal, whether you agree with the law or not.

How do you know these people are homeless? Every Japanese is entitled to a basic pension (whether they claim it or not) and many old Japanese people actually supplement their income with activities like collecting cans and bottles, so they don't need a part time job. One bag of cans is not much by itself, however these guys are pros - if they go to a mansion block on the morning of can pick up, they could easily get 20 or 30 bags - ¥9000 for 10 minutes work is not bad at all,. Consider that nowadays the going rate for a high school graduate temp staff position is about ¥7000 a day, and you can see why I have a problem with it.

And the people who are getting hurt are, assumingly, the people who are forced to recycle (or face a fine) by the city in which they reside. The reason cities ask people to recycle is because they then can sell the cans, and also generate money back into the city. The recycling industry also provides jobs, and at the end of the day it is the hard working city-residents (who are the ones funding it with their hard-earned city tax) funding it all. Thats you and me - and you should feel angry about it. They are stealing from you and your tax money directly, and I bet they are not declaring their earnings either.

If these people are genuinely homeless, they have my sympathies, but there are various programmes in Japan to help them. I know, because I have volunteered for such organizations before. The problem is some of them just do not want help, and prefer to live this way instead. Those who DO want help are not homeless for very long.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Every Japanese is entitled to a basic pension (whether they claim it or not) and many old Japanese people actually supplement their income with activities like collecting cans and bottles, so they don't need a part time job

You make it sound so easy, and if it was all these guys would be collecting it that's for sure. However, sad as it is, they are only entitled to the pension if, and it's a HUGE if, they have a stable address and fill out the proper paperwork with the local municipality that they live in. That is one of the biggest complaints against the current system here. Many if not most of the homeless have no address, and no chance of getting one either. It's not as simple as you make it sound.

Next:

if they go to a mansion block on the morning of can pick up, they could easily get 20 or 30 bags - ¥9000 for 10 minutes work is not bad at all,

This is a huge assumption as well, but for discussion sake here alone, and putting aside all the other misconceptions you have here, what's to keep everyone else from going after the same cans? You make it sound like there is only one guy here, there are tons of folks doing the same thing, and plenty that drive around in their kei trucks picking up recyclable goods at all hours of the day or night on trash days or otherwise.

It's a first come first serve thing, and this guy doesnt look like he has wheels to get around with. You try to pain a rosy picture but it just isn't so.

Next:

And the people who are getting hurt are, assumingly, the people who are forced to recycle (or face a fine) by the city in which they reside. The reason cities ask people to recycle is because they then can sell the cans, and also generate money back into the city. The recycling industry also provides jobs, and at the end of the day it is the hard working city-residents (who are the ones funding it with their hard-earned city tax) funding it all. Thats you and me - and you should feel angry about it. They are stealing from you and your tax money directly, and I bet they are not declaring their earnings either.

Which costs more? It's not these guys that are costing the city money that they budgeted with recycling in mind. It's the guys in their trucks that go all over the place on trash day making their living off of the recyclable goods that people put out in their trash. Guys like this do it to get some food, to live, not to profit from.

Open your eyes. Which would you rather have? The city helping to keep the homeless fed and taken care of? Or put the profiteers out of business?

Next:

If these people are genuinely homeless, they have my sympathies, but there are various programmes in Japan to help them. I know, because I have volunteered for such organizations before. The problem is some of them just do not want help, and prefer to live this way instead. Those who DO want help are not homeless for very long.

If you have truly helped the homeless there is no way you can make such a blanket statement. You talk about the exceptions to the rule. Yes there are programs, but you make it sound like they can be found everywhere in the country. They don't! Yes some locations have them, not everywhere, and the problems that many of these homeless people have go beyond just needing a place to live or a meal to eat. The list is too long to put here

Finally:

It seems to me that you put the blame on the homeless for their situation, and want to whitewash the problem away and to assuage your own feelings about the issue and problem by your saying you "helped" out and did your part.

What is wrong with, or why belittle this guy, or make him look like a criminal, for fighting to live among others in a country that should have NO homeless what so ever. But then that isn't reality either is it?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@kimuzukashiiiii I recommend you to become a homeless for a while, sleeping on a sidewalk in a cold winter on some cardboard boxes, daily struggling to get something to eat, not being able to take a shower for a long time and generally being bereft of any purpose in life! Maybe, maybe just maybe it will change the perspective of arrogant people like you.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Actually these guys are stealing the cans.

Reminds me of the time I was moving house and in need of cardboard boxes. I asked a large retail store if I could take some that were sitting in their garbage heap and the staff sternly said, "No. We own those."

Gotta love the spirit of charity and community in Japan. Don't give anything away. Even garbage.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

looks the same here in manila !! don't be sad your not alone !!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

kimuzukashiiiiiMay. 18, 2013 - 12:31PM JST Frungy and VicMOsaka, And the people who are getting hurt are, assumingly, the people who are forced to recycle (or face a fine) by the city in which they reside. The reason cities ask people to recycle is because they then can sell the cans, and also generate money back into the city.

You are mistaken. In Japan there's a kind of recycling tax paid up front by businesses to the national JCPRA. The city is legally obliged to require people to sort garbage for easy collection, because without this measure recycling companies would go under (hand sorting garbage is incredibly expensive)., and cities make a huge loss on collection, which they partially cover by selling the special garbage recycling bags. The recycling companies get paid by the JCPRA based on volume recycled.

The national recycling law covers glass bottles, certain types of paper... but NOT aluminum cans at this time, so there's no actual law being broken here.

So you're mistaken. There's no law about aluminum, so it cannot be illegal. Likewise no-one gets hurt because the city makes its money on selling the garbage bags, NOT on selling the cans to the recyclers (the cost of collection is higher than the value of the cans), and the recycler doesn't get hurt because they're paid regardless of the source of the cans (be it homeless guy or the city).

The recycling industry also provides jobs, and at the end of the day it is the hard working city-residents (who are the ones funding it with their hard-earned city tax) funding it all. Thats you and me - and you should feel angry about it. They are stealing from you and your tax money directly, and I bet they are not declaring their earnings either.

This doesn't cut jobs. The city trash men still need to make their rounds (as legally required) to collect the glass, paper, etc. The recycling companies get the cans, just from a different source.

No-one gets hurt. Everyone wins.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Most likely amateurs at this => cans not crushed etc. Those carts are iffy at best and a shopping cart (or plastic dump cart) would be more practical. Aluminum is low at .817 a pound - so they are looking at about 1/3-1/2 of that.

Took apart an old Yamaha DT-1 once and scored over $100 at the recycling center. They guy running it was a newbie and some of the aluminum had steel with it (you get usually 1/3 less for that). Aluminum at that time was very high and i was paid ~$1.25 a pound. Had some other aluminum scraps and engine part throw aways also, but it was a real score for a bunch of kids => more like $200 now.

With Abenomics and the prices going up I am sure other people will look to recycling for that little extra money.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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