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In San Francisco, Making a Living From Your Billionaire Neighbor’s Trash

来源:纽约时报    2019-04-10 03:12

        SAN FRANCISCO — Three blocks from Mark Zuckerberg’s $10 million Tudor home in San Francisco, Jake Orta lives in a small, single-window studio apartment filled with trash.        旧金山——在距离马克·扎克伯格(Mark Zuckerberg)的1000万美元都铎式大宅三个街区远的地方,杰克·奥尔塔(Jake Orta)住在一个只有一扇窗户的单间小公寓里,里面全是垃圾。
        There’s a child’s pink bicycle helmet that Orta dug out from the garbage bin across the street from Zuckerberg’s house. And a vacuum cleaner, a hair dryer, a coffee machine — all in working condition — and a pile of clothes that he carried home in a Whole Foods paper bag retrieved from Zuckerberg’s bin.        垃圾里有一个粉色的儿童自行车头盔,那是他从扎克伯格家对面的垃圾桶里捡到的。还有一台吸尘器、一个吹风机、一个咖啡机——都还能用,还有一堆衣服,他用从扎克伯格的垃圾桶翻出来的一个全食超市的纸袋,把那些衣服带回家。
        A military veteran who fell into homelessness and now lives in government-subsidized housing, Orta is a full-time trash picker, part of an underground economy in San Francisco of people who work the sidewalks in front of multimillion-dollar homes, rummaging for things they can sell.        奥尔塔是一名无家可归的退伍军人,目前住在政府补贴的房子里,他是一名全职的拾荒者,是旧金山地下经济的一部分,他们在百万豪宅前的人行道上工作,翻寻着可以出售的东西。
        Trash picking is a profession more often associated with shantytowns and favelas than a city at the doorstep of Silicon Valley. The Global Alliance of Waste Pickers, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, counts more than 400 trash picking organizations across the globe, almost all of them in Latin America, Africa and southern Asia.        作为一种职业,捡垃圾通常是与棚户区和贫民窟联系在一起的,而不是一座位于硅谷的城市。非盈利研究和倡导组织全球拾荒者联盟(Global Alliance of Waste Pickers)由全球400多个拾荒者组织构成,它们几乎都位于拉丁美洲、非洲和南亚。
        But trash scavengers exist in many U.S. cities and, like the rampant homelessness in San Francisco, are a signpost of the extremes of U.S. capitalism. A snapshot from 2019: One of the world’s richest men and a trash picker, living a few minutes’ walk from each other.        但美国许多城市都有拾荒者的身影,这与旧金山无家可归者无处不在的现象一样,是美国资本主义的极端路标。这是2019年的一张快照:一个是世界上最富有的人之一,一个是拾荒者,他们的住处距离对方只有几分钟的步行距离。
        Orta, 56, sees himself as more of a treasure hunter.        56岁的奥尔塔认为自己更像是一个寻宝者。
        “It just amazes me what people throw away,” he said one night, as he found a pair of gently used designer jeans, a new black cotton jacket, gray Nike running sneakers and a bicycle pump. “You never know what you will find.”        “让我惊讶的是人们什么都扔,”他说,有天晚上他发现了一条看上去没怎么穿过的名牌牛仔裤、一件新的黑色棉外套、灰色的耐克跑鞋和一个自行车打气筒。“你永远不知道会发现什么。”
        Orta says his goal is to earn about $30 to $40 a day from his discoveries, a survival income of about $300 a week.        奥尔塔说,他的目标是每天从收获中得到约30~40美元的收入,每周大约要300美元才能维持生活。
        Trash picking is illegal in California — once a bin is rolled out onto the sidewalk the contents are considered the possession of the trash collection company, according to Robert Reed, spokesman for Recology, the company contracted to collect San Francisco’s garbage. But the law is rarely enforced.        在加州,拾荒是违法行为——根据承包旧金山垃圾收集的公司Recology的发言人罗伯特·里德(Robert Reed)的说法,垃圾桶一旦推到了人行道上,里面的东西就被视为垃圾收集公司的财产。但这条法律很少执行。
        Orta was born in San Antonio, Texas, one of 12 children. He spent more than a dozen years in the Air Force, loading aircraft during the Persian Gulf war of 1991 and was dispatched to Germany, Korea and Saudi Arabia. By the time he returned to the United States, his wife had left him, and he struggled with alcoholism and homelessness. He moved to San Francisco, and five years ago qualified for a program assisting chronically homeless veterans.        奥尔塔出生于得克萨斯州的圣安东尼奥,有12个兄弟姐妹。他在空军待了十几年,在1991年的波斯湾战争期间从事飞机的装载工作,还被派遣到德国、韩国和沙特阿拉伯。当他回到美国时,妻子离他而去,他陷入了酗酒和无家可归的状态。后来他搬到旧金山,五年前得以加入一个长期无家可归老兵援助项目。
        On the six times Orta went out with a reporter, he followed a variety of circuits, but usually ended up exploring his favorite alleys and a dumpster that has been bountiful. (The first rule of dumpster scavenging, he said, is to make sure there’s no raccoon or possum in there.) In March, the dumpster yielded a box of silver goblets, dishes and plates, as if someone had yanked a tablecloth from underneath a feast in some European château.        一名记者和他一起出去过六次,他会一路左拐右绕,但最后还是来到他最喜欢的那几条小巷和一个不会让人空手而归的垃圾箱。(他说,翻垃圾箱的首要规则是确保里面没有浣熊或负鼠。)三月的时候,他从垃圾箱里捡到了一箱银质高脚杯和各种盘子碟子,仿佛有人在某个欧洲城堡举行的盛宴上扯动了桌布。
        “How do you say it?” William Washington, one of Orta’s trash-picking colleagues, remarked one night. “One’s man trash is another man’s treasure.”        “怎么说呢?”一天晚上,奥尔塔的拾荒同行威廉·华盛顿(William Washington)说。“一个人的垃圾是另一个人的财富。”
        Orta’s other recent discoveries: phones, iPads, three wristwatches and bags of marijuana. (“I smoked it,” he said when asked how much he got for the pot.) In late August or September, as participants return from the annual Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert, Orta said he often finds abandoned bicycles covered in fine sand.        奥尔塔最近的其他发现包括手机、iPad、三块手表和几袋大麻。(“被我抽了,”当被问及大麻卖了多少钱时,他说。)8月底或9月是去往内华达州沙漠参加年度火人节的人们回来的时候,奥尔托说,那阵子他经常可以发现覆满细沙的废弃自行车。
        Orta said he only takes what people have clearly thrown away, although 14 years ago he spent a few months in jail for breaking into someone’s garage in Sacramento and trying to steal a wrench for his bicycle. “It was a dumb mistake,” he said.        奥尔塔说,他只拿走显然是被扔掉的东西,尽管14年前,他在萨克拉门托曾经闯入某人的车库,想偷个扳手修理自己的自行车,因此入狱几个月。“那是个愚蠢的错误,”他说。
        Trash pickers fall into several broad categories. For decades, elderly women and men have collected cardboard, paper, cans or bottles, lugging impossibly large bags around the city and bringing them to recycling centers for cash.        拾荒者可以分为几大类。几十年来,上年纪的男女一直吃力地拖着极大的袋子在城市里到处收集纸板、纸、罐头和瓶子,把它们带到回收中心兑换现金。
        The city is most concerned about the battered pickup trucks, known as mosquito fleets, that buzz around San Francisco collecting recyclables on an industrial scale, depriving Recology, and ultimately the city, of income, said Bill Barnes, spokesman for the city administrator’s office.        旧金山市政府发言人比尔·巴恩斯(Bill Barnes)说,该市最担心的是那些破旧的皮卡车,它们被称为“蚊子车队”,在旧金山开来开去,进行工业规模的可回收物品收集,减少了Recology的收入,最终也减少该市的收入。
        “That’s a significant challenge for residents because it results in higher garbage rates,” Barnes said.        “这对居民来说是一个重大挑战,因为这会导致更高的垃圾处理费,”巴恩斯说。
        Trash pickers like Orta are in yet another category, targeting items in the black landfill garbage bins whose contents would otherwise go to what’s known as the pit — a hole in the ground on the outskirts of the city that resembles a giant swimming pool, where nonrecyclable trash is crushed and compacted by a huge bulldozer and then carried by a fleet of trucks to a dump an hour and a half away. The city exports about 50 large truckloads a day.        像奥尔塔这样的拾荒者属于另一类,他们的目标是那些黑色的填埋垃圾桶,如果没有他们,桶里的东西就会被全部进入垃圾坑——那是在城市郊区地上挖出的洞,就像一个巨大的游泳池。不可回收的垃圾被巨大的推土机碾压并夯实,然后由一队卡车拉到一个半小时车程外的垃圾场。该市每天运出50辆大型卡车的垃圾。
        Orta sells what he retrieves at impromptu markets on Mission Street or at a more formal market on Saturdays on Julian Avenue. Children’s toys very rarely sell — parents don’t like the idea that they have come from the trash. Women’s clothing is iffy. But men don’t seem to care as much where the clothing came from, and jeans are easy to hawk for $5 or $10 a pair.        奥尔塔会在米慎街的临时市场或朱利安大道一个更正式的周六市场上出售他收集到的东西。儿童玩具很少能卖出去——父母们不喜欢来自垃圾的玩具。女装令人起疑。但男性似乎不太在意这些衣服是从什么地方来的,牛仔裤很容易以每条五美元或10美元的价格成交。
        In the blue recycling bin marked with Zuckerberg’s address, there were A&W diet root beer cans, cardboard boxes and a junk mail credit card offer. In the black landfill bin were remnants of a chicken dinner, a stale baguette and Chinese takeout containers.        在标有扎克伯格地址的蓝色回收箱里,有A&W无糖根啤罐、纸板箱和一封信用卡垃圾邮件广告。在黑色的填埋垃圾桶里,有一顿鸡肉晚餐的残余物,一个不新鲜的长棍面包和中餐外卖盒。
        Orta pulled apart a garbage bag in the black bin.        奥尔塔从黑色垃圾桶里拿出一个垃圾袋,打开来看。
        “Just junk — nothing in there.”        “就是垃圾——里面什么都没有。”

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