Rubbish collectors’ co-op trades rice, soap for recyclable materials

Thai ‘scavengers club’ turns trash to treasure – AFP, January 2, 2013
…The couple have combed bins for decades, but their earnings of less than 10 dollars per day are not always enough to live on, so they turned to the cooperative.
“When we’re starving, we can find rubbish to exchange for rice to eat, detergent, soap and everything,” said Nom, who also has grandchildren to raise and feed.
By selling to the recycling plants in bulk, the cooperative gets a better rate than individual scavengers would manage on their own.
Profits are then paid back in dividends and other benefits to its members such as life insurance, interest rates from its “rubbish bank” and help paying medical fees…

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