This is despite common problems binners face. They are severely overrepresented in such demographics as homelessness, those who have been abused, and those suffering from mental illness. Despite the fact that binners have, for the most part, education levels commensurate with the general community, they have often struggled through other issues at much higher rates.
This is part of the reason Korcheva says she wants to help binners, but there’s more to it than that. Binners, she says, offer urban centres a vital service—they bridge a gap in the recycling industry that allows cities to stay clean. Often, recycled materials are placed in the wrong receptacles by those who don’t feel motivated to recycle. Binners, Korcheva argues, are the ones who make up for that failing.
But they don’t make a living wage for that work. Korcheva and the Binners Project are looking to change that.
There organization seeks to organize binners to lobby for living wages from businesses and events such as music festivals—who, she says, often benefit from binners’ services—as well as increased resources from the city.
Listen to the segment below to hear Korcheva’s take on how binners are being failed by cities, and how society can do more to support them.