Who are those Bottle Ladies?

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And no, we are not talking about any current holiday trend, but the group of Asian ladies of a certain age who have divvied up  the “turf” of single-family housing areas in Vancouver. They collect bottles and redeemable containers from  blue box recycling containers on recycle collection days. Some are pleasant, and respectful, and know all the neighbours. Others are more demanding, going onto properties and in garages to retrieve their booty. One local bottle lady tucks her treasures in a late-model car. But what is the life of these women, how do they divide their territories and how does it all work?

Marcus Gee of the  Globe and Mail also wondered how these ladies operate in Toronto, and armed with a translator approached them.  Marcus notes: “Big, complex cities such as Toronto contain worlds within worlds, many of them unknown to each other. The world of…

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