The plight of an elderly Singaporean, who manages to earn just $30 after toiling hard to collect 300 kilograms of cardboard over the course of an entire day, was recently shared on social media by Facebook user Kilmar Wong.
Sharing pictures of the senior citizen, Mr Wong said that he was alerted to this case by a friend.
When he visited the senior citizen on Monday (25 Feb), Mr Wong found that the elderly cardboard collector is presently the only one working in his family since his wife suffers from rheumatism and is resting at home.
The senior citizen is only able to collect 300-400 kilograms of cardboard if he works an entire day. 300 kilograms of cardboard is valued at S$30, according to Mr Wong.
This means that the senior citizen can earn only S$900 if he works 30 days in a month, collecting 300 kilograms of cardboard each day. If he manages to collect 400 kilograms of cardboard each day, he may earn S$1,200 each month.
The operating costs of collecting cardboard to sell is, however, quite high.
Mr Wong revealed that the senior citizen rents a van to transport the cardboard he collects. The van, which can carry a full load of about 300-400 kilograms, costs S$1,500 each month to rent.
Besides rental, the senior also has to pay for carpark, ERP and petrol costs.
Noticing that his earnings from collecting the cardboard does not even fully cover the rental cost of the van, Mr Wong asked the senior citizen how he covers the cost of the van.
The senior citizen said that he is “doing other delivery odd jobs to make up for the balance.”
The senior citizen lamented that the price offered by those who buy cardboard has plunged significantly in the last two decades.
Mr Wong said that the elderly cardboard collector told him that the prices for cardboard has fallen from 0.22 cents per kilogram in 1999 to 0.08 cents per kilogram in 2019.
Asking the waste paper companies and vehicle rental companies to help such “true blue local Singaporeans,” Mr Wong appealed:
“A true blue local Singaporean couple work hand in hand just to make an income of less than 2k after all the hard work…To the rental companies, please try to help them to at least lower down the rental cost.
“To the waste paper recycling companies who are doing exports, is it possible to increase your buying price from $0.08cts to $0.13cts per kilo? At least they can make extra $270?”
Read his post in full here:
In case you cannot read the above:
“Yesterday I received a text message from my Friend Kingsley. He told me there is a guy whom collect Carton boxes for his wife( His wife having rheumatism she had a problem working, now resting at home) for a living. Today I went down to see him at 8pm today.
“The whole load of the carton boxes in the Van is about 300kilos ( Valued at $30bucks). 1 whole day he can only do around 300_400kilos.
“He rented a Toyota Hiace (Rental at 1500 a month). Hence there is only a 1k income which he have had from the boxes.
“He have mentioned the Prices offeres from the exporters have fallen from 0.22cts(1999) to 0.08cts(2019).
“I ask him how to cover his rental of 1500. He is doing other delivery odd jobs to make up for the balance.
“A true blue local Singaporean couple work hand In hand just to make an income of less than 2k after all the hard work. Not to forget the carparK，erp n petrol cost
“To the rental companies… pls try to help them to at least lower down the rental cost.
“To the Waste paper recycling companies whom are doing Exports, is it possible to increase your buying price from $0.08cts to $0.13cts per kilo? At least they can make extra $270?
“Lets Spread our love.”