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September 3, 2009

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Derailment for aged recyclers

POLICE have set up news-paper recycling boxes at some Metro stations to collect newspapers in the name of charity - and public safety.
Elderly recyclers are crowding many stations requesting papers from commuters.
Metro police said yesterday that they believed introducing the recycling boxes was a "moderate way" to discourage the elderly from the morning peak-hour practice.
The elderly recyclers mill around Metro entrances, exits, walkways and escalators asking passengers for newspapers they have read.
Despite the meager income from recycling the newspapers, some city senior citizens see it as a handy way to exercise and earn extra money.
They have been making appearances every workday morning for about a year, mostly at downtown stations.
Police this week set up recycling boxes inside Line 2's Nanjing Road W. Station, Zhongshan Park Station, Lujiazui Station and Jing'an Temple Station, spots popular with the elderly recyclers.
"We hope the recycling boxes will quietly send away the seniors," said a Metro police officer.
"What they are doing is not illegal but they may get hurt in the crowds and also get in the way."
The Shanghai Charity Foundation told Shanghai Daily yesterday that all money raised from the recycling program would be donated to a fund dedicated to help needy college students of local medical schools.
Metro management officials said the boxes would be emptied daily and money raised from selling the papers donated monthly.
About 400 yuan (US$58.55) to 500 yuan could be expected every month from selling recycled newspapers collected from a single station, according to the officials.
The program was in part brought on by the popularity of a free daily newspaper distributed to Metro commuters.
Many passengers either throw away these papers before leaving stations or give them to the elderly recyclers.
Some of the old recyclers said they regarded the practice as a small morning exercise, with small rewards.
Opponents of the project said authorities were over-reacting against a group of harmless elderly people.


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