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Society & Global
Society & Global Section
확대축소프린트
 김선영
Senior Citizens on the Streets for Living
제 125 호    발행일 : 2011.05.28 
 The old woman arranges recyclable materials.

 A few days ago, Cheongju city surveyed the size of senior citizens who pick up recyclable materials and announced that the number is at least 338. The senior citizens, who don’t have jobs due to their age, went outside and picked up recyclable materials for their livings.

 Most senior citizens carry recyclable materials in small strollers not hand carts because hand carts are expensive to them and they don’t have enough power to pull hand carts. One old woman, who is 73 years old and has worked downtown for 10 years, uses a hand cart. Every night at 8 p.m., the old woman leaves her hand cart next to the store and goes to other places to pick up recyclable materials. In the meantime, clerks put their recyclable materials near her hand cart. Then, the old woman comes back to the hand cart and arranges them. The hand cart is full because she starts working in the early evening. However, other senior citizens who start later have fewer boxes in their baby carriages. The old woman said, “I can’t pick up many recyclable materials if I start late because other people collect them first. Even if I pick up recyclable materials in the early evening, it is not always enough for survival.” 

 Support from the government is very limited for senior citizens who pick up recyclable materials. The old woman said, “I don’t receive any support from the government. Some low-income families can receive benefits, but I was not selected due to my offspring.” Some senior citizens can’t be selected because of their offspring. The recipients must not have people who have a duty to support them.

 Recently, Cheongju city said, “We will consult with private enterprises and provide hand carts to senior citizens.” Because the rate of senior citizens is increasing in our aging society, earning their living by picking up recyclable materials has become harder. The senior citizens, who pick up recyclable materials, need proper support from the government, not hand carts.

By Kim Seon-yeong
ksy31@cbnu.ac.kr
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