Another negative consequence of the closing of Associated Supermarket is something most people would not think about—the needy people who rely on redeeming cans and bottles to supplement
their meager income. I see these people— both men and women and usually nicely dressed—going through the litter baskets on the streets and also in front of apartment buildings foraging through the recycling bags collecting the cans and bottles. They are not on welfare. If they were, they would be on food stamps and wouldn’t have to search through these trash bins to try to get some money for food to feed themselves. Associated would kindly let these people redeem them so they could have money for their essential needs. This not only helps them, but it takes thousands of these recyclables out of the landfills (unless the City recycles the contents of the litter baskets). Where will these people go to now?
There aren’t many stores that will take them. The Food Emporium on 6th Avenue was one that did but of course they’ve been closed for a few years, to be replaced by a discount store, now closed, and now CVS Drugs is going in that space.
These people do not beg. They are trying to make ends meet by scrounging through garbage to get the cans and bottles. It’s a shame that they won’t have a place to take them. Not only are they trying to feed and support themselves, but are also helping the environment by properly recycling these redeemables.