$1000 in Exchange for Collecting Used Cans From the Streets of New York — Would You Do It?

People in New York are collecting used cans and bottles from the streets as a living. Some are earning $600, while some take home as much as $1000.

A bag of used bottles and cans may be nothing more than waste to the majority of people, but to the Queens family members led by Jeanett Pilatacsi, they represent a source of income.

About 200 used beverage containers, each worth five cents when recycled in Elmsford, New York, are contained in each bag. The Pilatacsi family earns money from the aluminum and plastic that are being recycled piece by piece. Ambitious canners can collect 100 blue bags of recyclables on the best days, which equals $1,000 in income.

Sure We Can

An estimated 8,000 to 10,000 New Yorkers earn money by collecting cans, bottles, and plastic containers and bringing them back to retailers for refunds, according to Ryan Castalia, the executive director of the nonprofit Sure We Can redemption center. One hundred of them depend on canning for their living. Millionaire landlord Lisa Fiekowsky is reputed to collect cans and bottles in her Brooklyn neighborhood and recycle them, according to a recent story.

The Savvy Ones

Ray del Carmen, a manager at Sure We Can, said that the savviest can collectors are aware that certain days are more lucrative than others. He still assists his fiancée, who makes a job by collecting cans, even though his days of full-time canning are behind him. He cherishes one particular holiday.

Del Carmen stated that The ideal day was St. Patrick’s Day. Everyone begins to drink early. Going from bar to bar between 42nd and 45th Street from 2 PM to 4 AM. Working alone, Del Carmen earned $800 in a single day. He took the empty cans and bottles that people were throwing away.

Family Affair

Jeanett Pilatacsi, 38, claims that her new position is superior to her previous one in a candle factory. Together, she and her family collect cans from noon till eight o’clock to load their truck.

The vehicle was financed and is a 2021 Mercedes Benz Sprinter in white. The family members occasionally put in extra time to collect cans and bottles from bars. For a long day of effort, they will receive more than $600 in cash tonight. The recycling business is located in Elmsford and provided the van.

The most popular container for glass bottles is a bottle, and buyers pay the same five cents per container that they do for metal and plastic. Since 1983, five cents have been equal to 15 cents today. The family-owned company got its start out of need.

The family members can gather up to 100 bags on their finest days, which is worth $1,000.

They discovered the need of developing connections with porters and doormen to acquire their recyclables, as well as how to disregard naysayers who accuse them of rummaging through trash.

The Canning Crew’s 12 members all have ties to one another and share a home in Rego Park. According to Pilatacsi, their canning profits cover all of their expenses. When they are not working, they share in the thousands, eat together, and assist in the upbringing of one another’s children.

Nelson, 11, just volunteered at his uncle’s recycling facility and plans to attend college. They all “take it easy,” according to Nelson, and head to the park together.

Retirement Plan

When Mario Palonci has the energy, he cans 2,000 cans per night to make up for his lack of income while residing in a Brooklyn shelter. The 70-year-old, a former alcoholic who was living on the streets after his construction employment stopped, has since made a full recovery. He spends the morning arranging and bagging his cans after sorting through them.

Read also: Scientists Find Hope for Plastic Recycling in Superworms that Feed on Styrofoam 

Partners in Can

Mexican immigrant Josefa Marin began gathering cans to support her daughter and help pay for college. Her daughter struggled to make ends meet while working a string of low-paying jobs in the early 2000s. She started to can collecting after losing her job in a restaurant and being unable to find another. She learned something extraordinary about a profession that appeared to be a last resort.

Building employees who appreciate Marin stopping by and taking their bags of trash off their hands are the reason for her success. According to Marin, having a strong work ethic earns respect.

She met Pedro Romero, a native of Puebla, by happenstance in 2011. Pedro was from Puebla. They partnered up after falling in love to successfully work and, eventually, share a home in Williamsburg. She claimed that as a unit, they bring in 5,000 cans each day. At the nonprofit Sure We Can, they can earn 6.5 cents per can since they sort and separate the cans on their own.

Romero claimed that they are putting money aside and were eager to go back to their native land. They want to spend their later years together in Mexico, New York Post reports.

This is not a new trend. Over the years, there are many others who have benefited from collecting cans diligently.

Related article: Plastic Concrete: Company Aims to Accomplish Zero Waste by Creating Sustainable Construction Materials 

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