How Much Do Those People Who Collect Bottles Earn?

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A teenager who collects bottles and cans and lives in a city shelter walks near Times Square on April 14, 2011 in New York City.
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 14: A teenager who collects bottles and cans and lives in a city shelter walks near Times Square on April 14, 2011 in New York City. Homelessness in New York is at an all-time high according to newly-released statistics by the Coalition for the Homeless, which blames the increase on the policies of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the recent recession. A record 113,553 different people, including 42,888 children, slept in homeless shelters in fiscal year 2010, up nine percent from the previous year. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Today, the Times brings us a tale of a magical place on McDonald Avenue in Brooklyn: The Thrifty Redemption Center. There are no fairies or unicorns here. There are no elves or hobbits or whatever the nerds are into these days. No, what makes Thrifty so magical is that they'll pay you 6 cents for a recyclable can or bottle. It's enough to attract can-and-bottle collectors from around the borough. How much do those guys (and girls) make, by the way? One full-time scavenger says he earns about $400 a week, and more during holidays. [NYT]