Sunday, May 19, 2013

Wet cardboard

It was a cloudy day, but it didn’t rain.  The sidewalks and the streets in Hung Hom were dry.  So why were the cardboards wet?

It was a common sight - an old woman collecting cardboard for recycling. I heard that one can get one Hong Kong dollar for one kilogram of cardboard.  But I was puzzled to see the old woman cut up a cardboard box, folded it neatly, put it into a styrofoam box, and then pour water over it. 

Then she took out the wetted cardboard and laid it on top of the already-formidable-looking stack of cardboards - all dripping wet.  I suspect it was to make the stack weight more, so she can make a bit more money from recycling.

I also heard that because of the bad economic situation in Europe, the price for used cardboard has dropped to 70 cents per kilogram.  Perhaps by wetting the cardboard, she can make up part of her lost in income.  It sounds dishonest.  But seeing how hard she has to work to make a little bit of money, I hesitate to blame her.

Why do some people have to work so hard to make a very humble living, while so many people in Hong Kong are filthily rich?


YTSL said...

Hi Stephen --

I've read that the people collecting cardboard for recycling wet their cardboard to compensate for a lot of people buying their cardboard tampering with the scales so that things show as weighing less than they really do.

And yes, it's truly sad that some people have to work so hard to make a very humble living while others have money to burn.

StephenC said...

Thanks. I didn't know that. It makes sense though. It is so sad that exploitation exist everywhere. Even the poor exploit those poorer than themselves.