There are more than one hundred thousand people working in China’s recycling industry. It is a hard way to make a living.
However, trash and recycling are a big business in China. Some estimate that it is a fourteen billion dollar business for a family driven cottage industry.
Long hours of hard work add up to a living wage for the Chinese involved in this recycling business.
One recycler, Yang Shou Xue, said they start at ten in the morning waiting for the garbage trucks to arrive. Then they work until 1:00 PM before taking a break. Work continues until 8:00 or 9:00 PM.
The collected recyclable scraps are then taken from the city for a few hour drive to factories where the trash is turned into raw material for a second life.
In fact, the recyclables just don’t come from China’s cities. It comes from all over the world, since China is the world’s largest importer of trash.
Bottles tossed in recycle bins in the US, often show up in China where they are processed then resold as a new product to Western countries.
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