Recycling Business Booming In CA, Unlikely People Cashing In

CBS San Francisco
CBC San Francisco

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) -- The recycling business is booming in California, and consumers are recycling at a rate of 82 percent which is the highest in the nation.

It's not how most people want to spend their Friday afternoon — lugging and dumping their trash at a recycling center, but this is how people like Warren survive.

"I was working as a network hardware engineer for nine years," says Warren.

Watch the video report.

After getting laid off this nicely dressed, well-educated single dad realized dumpster diving was one of the few ways he could put food on the table for his girls.

"Every little bit adds up, digging through garbage cans isn't fun bit you do what you gotta do," explains Warren.

Now he earns $40 a week, and Warren is not alone.

According to Cal Recycle, a record number of people are saying, "we've already bought the soda, so instead of just throwing it away, why not recycle it and make $2 a pound?"

From laid-off professionals to college students, a record number of Californians are cashing in on recycled cans and bottles, and they couldn't have picked a better time.

Sites like Recycling Industries are paying more for aluminum than they ever have before.

Caption: Warren from Sacramento recycles for cash. (CBS)