Recyling metals means money for the impoverished

San Jose Metals is open seven days a week recyling metals. It’s always busy. People bring aluminum cans, glass bottles, and other metals to be recycled and get paid by the pound. They turn away no one. Homeless people arrive with shopping carts filled with cans. So do obviously impoverished couples, who are probably trying to get extra money for food. A steady stream of pickups, often filled to the top, pull in. Large flatbed trucks sometimes bring neatly crushed bring 6 foot cubes of cans that require a forklift to unload.

This is certainly a booming niche business, and they keep a lot of cans out of landfills. But the continuous stream of poor and homeless clearly shows the underclass in Silicon valley, one of the few areas left in the country where the economy is still doing well.

I bet some of the poor people bringing in cans are on food stamps. Clearly they do want to work else they wouldn’t be recycling metals by digging around in trash cans all day for bottles and cans. So, Mitt Romney is wrong. Lots of people who are on some kind of assistance do want a way out and are willing to work hard to get it.

The red building next door is a bar. I wonder if both businesses are owned by the same people. 🙂


  1. This also means that anything you leave laying around can be surreptitiously recycled. A farmer in our neighborhood lost a half mile of irrigation pipe when someone loaded it onto a truck one night and hauled it away. A welder in Parowan came back from lunch to discover his heavy-duty copper welding leads had been stolen. This (Southern Utah) is an area in which crime historically has been quite low. The “new economy” is changing that.

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