More families turn to recycling to earn extra cash - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

More families turn to recycling to earn extra cash

Pomai Freitas Pomai Freitas
Sabine Yamamura Sabine Yamamura

By Roger Mari - bio | email

PEARL CITY (KHNL) - It's good for the environment and another way to make some extra cash during these tough economic times.

The recycling center in Pearl City has seen an average of about 5-first-time recycler each day over the past few months.

Most of us know recycling is good for the environment, and during this economic slump they're now learning it could help take care of everyday expenses.

Pomai Freitas manages the Pearl City Recycling Center and notices more and more people dropping off their bottles and cans for cash.

"Over the past three months I would say it went up about 20-25%," said Freitas.

They come in with car loads of glass bottles, cans and plastics.

For Sabine Yamamura, it's worth it to pay a visit to the recycling center. This day she netted $6.67. 

"We like that idea of getting money back some extra cash, so we make it a point to pick up the bottles and start saving them," said Yamamura.

It might not seem like much money but still worth the trip.

"So we have a little cash to buy them a little lunch," Yamamura said.  "It does help just a little bit but it does help."

Many people collect their recyclables for months before dropping them off. Others don't have the luxury of waiting. At this site about ten homeless people come everyday.

"When the economy is down that's all we get to do is recycle," said Sterling Reid, a recycler.

It's what many people would do to tough it out.

"If I would lose my job and I needed money I would do whatever I could to make sure my kids have food on the table, and if it meant going around picking up bottles, I would do that," said Yamamura.

It's a practice that's been around for years, and now more than ever recycling is important for the environment and much more.

Pomai says earlier this year his payout to customers was about $1,300 to $1,400 per day, now it's closer to $2,500.

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