Saturday, December 10, 2005

House of Card-Board

Can anyone guess what is the leading export out of the Port of Los Angeles?

LA Times:
Thousands of the corrugated containers filled with Chinese-made vinyl dolls, plastic action figures, electronic gadgets, video games, clothing and die-cast cars pour daily into wholesale and retail toy shops in a dozen-block area on the eastern edge of downtown Los Angeles.

When they're empty, the boxes are flattened, trucked out of Toytown and shipped back to China, where the cycle begins all over again.


At the Port of Los Angeles, wastepaper is by far the leading export. At the next-door Port of Long Beach, it's third, behind petroleum coke and petroleum. At both shipping centers, the Chinese demand for scrap paper far outpaces that for other recycled American exports: scrap metal and empty plastic soda bottles.

"I've probably seen this cardboard three or four times, maybe more," joked Javier Ramirez as he tossed a flattened box labeled "Made in China" into the back of his 1999 Chevrolet stake-bed truck. Ramirez, 39, of South Los Angeles has been recycling corrugated boxes along Toytown's Winston Street for seven years.


Woo said the cardboard recycling trade that has sprung up on Toytown streets is a miniature example of the global economy at work.

Among the box collectors are street people who prowl alleys to gather cardboard tossed out by shopkeepers. One, who declined to give his name unless he was paid $2, said he earns about $20 a day. He uses a box cutter to slice them open and stacks the flattened cardboard on a cart. He serves as something of a subcontractor to a main box collector who consolidates loads and takes the cardboard to recycling trucks such as the one operated by Ramirez.
Truly a sign of the times. Poor people going around collecting used cardboard boxes for a living. And those recycled boxes are the largest export out of the port of L.A. And all those boxes going to China in order to be filled up with more junk to pawn off on Americans.



At 1:46 PM, Blogger Lynne said...

Is this a great country, or what?

At 8:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oddly it sounds like the crack trade circa 1990. Perhaps it is a step up?

At 8:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some may feel squeamish about eating it, but rabbit has a fan base that grows as cooks discover how easy they are to raise — and how good the meat tastes.


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