Discarded cartons, used bottles, and plastic containers are often just pieces of junks for others which are usually thrown in the garbage cans. But to some people, they earn their living from picking and selling these junks to a “Junk Shop”.
Junk shops in the Philippines are very common specially in areas where people settle “informally”. These “informal settlers” were used to be called as “squatters”… people who invade vacant but private properties and making these properties as if they own it. They erect shanties or homes made out of 2nd hand construction materials, stores, karinderyas, and to a certain extent, build small rooms for rent using a property which they don’t really own. Informal settlers are normally tolerated by the city mayors because these people sell their votes just for a kilo of rice.
The Philippines has millions of people earning their living from things we see as garbage. We often see them “mining” for junk from garbage cans and selling these to a local “junk shop”. Sadly, the country has about 12 million unemployment citizens as of year end 2014 (about 25% of the eligible labor force in the country).