Lina McGinn (on the right in the hat) with a friendWe have all come across people who go around collecting empty bottles and cans in order to redeem the 5 cent deposit on each. To illustrate how difficult it is to earn a living in such a way, Brooklynite Lina McGinn decided to create a visual. I ran into Lina and a friend a few days ago as the two were wheeling Lina's art project entitled "(A Barely) Living Wage" down Carroll Street.
The 212 plastic bottles she had glued together represent $10.60 hour wage, just enough to buy four subway rides or three slices of pizza, (no toppings) To earn $22,000 a year, which the Government considers the poverty line for a family of four, one would have to collect 440,960 bottles.
Those are sobering numbers. Lina, thanks for reminding us how difficult it is for many just to scrape by.