Charity, Helping, Urban Recycler, Volunteer

Through the lenses of Urban Recyclers

As mentioned in the previous article, many of these Urban Recyclers are resilient people. They want to earn their own money, despite their age. But if given the choice, of course they would want to spend their remaining days not having to work so hard doing such jobs. Unfortunately, many have no choice. Singapore is a very expensive place for most of us, and even more so for people like them.

“I do not feel ashamed because it is an ability. This is neither stealing or robbing, there is no need to be embarrassed,”⁣ one of our Urban Recyclers had said.

That is why we should open our minds and learn more about the Urban Recyclers who toil day after day under the Singaporean heat to pick up newspapers, tins and scraps of cardboard, so that we can reach out and lend a helping hand.

Just because an old lady might say she is doing all right and just pushing this trolley with 10 kilos of cardboard doesn’t mean we don’t ask ourselves why, in a country as prosperous as Singapore, an 80-year-old is doing this at all.

Social welfare has thankfully been extended over the years in Singapore. Yet there are core presumptions that remain unquestioned, from the dignity of self-sufficiency to the need to rely on family and relatives first, leaving state support as a last resort.

From the unrecognized cardboard collectors to our treasured Urban Recyclers, it is about time that we appreciate our unsung heroes in our national waste management system and environmental efforts. Through our work, we hope to look through the lenses of Urban Recyclers and walk in their shoes, so that we can better improve their lives in this urban city that we call home

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