As night falls, I see a lot of older Chinese elders picking through various rubbish bins for recyclable stuffs all around Sydney, even around where I live. I saw these instances frequently enough but never really thought too much about it, until now.
Today in front of Wynyard station there was a grandpa working though the bins, and a grandma not far from him. He has a big shopping trolley full of cans. That nagging curiosity came back to me and I did a search online, but no one really talked about this, at least not outside of mainland China.
I know that they can get money for collecting them, but why are they doing it? Are they bored? Don't they have families here? Is this what they do in China? Do they need the money? Are they stuck here in Australia? Covid-19 could make this practice more ubiquitous, but this dated back to even before the pandemic. I think they are mainland Chinese because I can recognise the language, when they talk and work in groups.
Can someone chime in on what you think is the reason for this practice?