Robert has come across False Creek from the Downtown Eastside to do some binning in the back alleys of Fairview.
I caught up with him at the McDonald’s at Broadway and Granville where it’s “dollar drink days”.
He needs the sugar—he’s got a lot more alleys to go through.
Do the poor understand the gravity of their situation?
Government welfare and disability cheques aren’t issued till this Wednesday, meaning people like Robert will have gone five weeks since their last cheque—he’s “hurting”, as they say.
He’s certainly not stopping to read the bags he grabs as he’s binning for returnable cans and bottles. Any social commentary implied by his choices is purely in the eye of the beholder.
Truth is, no matter how “sexy", "modern”, or “edgy” a consumer product is to begin with, it begins falling in value the moment it’s purchased and sooner or later it falls into the garbage—the bottom of the economic gravity well.
And sure as binners and Dumpster divers like Robert are waiting there to catch it, they’ll need a bag to put it in.