Film looks at recycling's footsoldiers
Robert Sarnoff, a film maker who specializes in socially relevant issues, recently sent me a link to his latest video, "Green, An AmeriCan Dream." The video takes a look at the "pickers" who collect plastic and aluminum containers in Brooklyn, N.Y., and bring them in to collect the deposit. Sarnoff calls it "the underbelly of our economy." I asked for the story behind the video, and he shared this: "When I came across this Brooklyn street army lined up in the pouring rain under the train tracks, sparks cascading down along with the drops, rust loosening, falling, as they recycled containers, redeemed chits, reclaimed their lives, I was smitten." "Taken with the whole process, I followed these 'pickers' collecting plastic bottles, crunching, blowing, to get a good scan, bagging, securing the containers with bungey cords and locks, crushing the large colorful bags into carts, wheeling them to recycling centers." "Hardworking, diligent, minding the order of things, of the machines that were their gold mines, fixing, scraping, cleaning the mechanisms." "To witness these workers who are a vital piece in the container collection infrastructure is an eye-opener. To realize that they clean the streets, beaches, parks, while saving the land and oceans is refreshing." Sarnoff told me a good documentary allows the viewer to gain access to a world he/she never knew existed. Anyone who's lived in a major city knows these people exist -- but I admit that I've never had such an intimate look at the lives of the 'pickers' -- the footsoldiers of the U.S. recycling infrastructure. I hope you enjoy the video below. Sarnoff says there is interest in it becoming a complete 60-90 minute piece.
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