Documentary Follows New Yorkers Who Collect Trash for Money

June 11, 2013 | Andy Cush

Depending on your neighborhood, you may have come across people who pick up your recyclable garbage as soon as you put it on the curb, and if you’re smart, you probably realized they’re doing so because they can turn the bottles, cans, and various other scraps in for cash. What you may not know is that doing so constitutes theft from the City of New York, and is punishable with up to thousands of dollars of fines.

Prompted by an instance in which he put an old air conditioning unit on the curb, only to find it gone minutes later, Brooklyn filmmaker Andy Arrow began asking after scrappers who make their living collecting trash around NYC. Mettle, the resulting documentary, is shot and edited, and Arrow is turning to Kickstarter to fund premiere events in Brooklyn, Nashville, and California. Watch the Kickstarter video below.