binner `bin-ner – noun
A person who collects redeemable containers and other objects of value from bins to sustain their livelihood and divert waste from landfills; a dumpster diver.
On any given day United We Can, collects thru its front door business, which is the Binner community upwards of 65,000 refundable containers. that’s close to 24,000,000 million containers each year.
Containers that are collected by the Binner community usually means that those containers were destined for the landfill. Now if that doesn’t shock you, lets just say the average return value for a container is .05, and when multiplied with that 24 million you end up at close to a total cash value of $1.2 dollars.
Binners, dumpster divers, what ever label you place on these people, have never been terribly popular with the general public, but this group of people plays a very important part in not only our environmental existence, they play an enormous part in our economy especially on the DTES of Vancouver. Vancouver has a very vibrant dumpster diving community, with approx. 1500 to 2000 binners, and we should be thankful for it. I cant imagine what 24 million containers would look like in a landfill but I know it cant be good.
United We Can has expanded to include other businesses such as street and lane cleaning and a commercial pickup service, from restaurants, hotels and strata units. United We Can has inspired similar efforts in cities around the world. These endeavours provide dignity and hope to those who most need it.