There’s a sticky smell of old pop near the recycling depot on Industrial Avenue. Towers of crushed cans wait at the loading bay. Gulls circle above.
A metallic rattling announces Carol Strickland. She walked the five minutes here from Main Street with a shopping cart. It’s filled with cans. Two rubber tubs balance on top, holding wine bottles. Around the cart hang eight garbage bags with more cans inside, along with a large Adidas duffel bag.
For 52-year-old Strickland, bottles and cans are a way to make some money in addition to welfare. She’s been at it for more than six years. Her biggest haul was $280 during the 2010 Olympics, but on average, she makes about $45 a trip.
“It’s better than sitting on your butt panhandling,” said Strickland.
Read full story in the Vancouver Courier here.