PORT CHESTER, N.Y. -- Tommy Scott stood in front of an automated recycling machine in an isolated corner of the Stop & Shop, dispensing with a week's worth of collected cans and bottles."I go walking every day, so I might as well pick up these cans while I'm at it," said Scott, 65.
Scott comes to the Stop & Shop once a week to cash in the recyclables he has collected, typically getting five to six dollars at five cents an item for his efforts.
The machines are separated into cans, plastic and glass and take one item at a time. At the end of a load cycle, a receipt is printed that can be redeemed for cash at the registers inside the store.
Scott makes ends meet with social security checks, so it's not so much about making money as it is giving himself something to do, but he knows its not the same for everyone else.
"Some of the people that come here, it's a business for them," he said. "A lot of people depend on these machines."
Scott takes his time when he is at the machines, stopping in between loads to smoke a cigarette and observe the people going into recycling area, which is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day.
"There are whole families that come in here," he said. "They have a system and everything. One person will stand at a machine and when she's almost done she'll call over a relative and then they bring in another load. Sometimes I can't get to a machine and I have to go over to the Pathmark."
What do you think of automated recycling machines? Do you think they should be at your local grocery store?
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