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Williamsburg artists ‘beautify’ can collectors’ carts • Brooklyn Paper

Williamsburg artists ‘beautify’ can collectors’ carts

Countless Cans: Hundreds of recyclables are gathered by canners at Sure We Can every week.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Can you believe it?

Williamsburg artists are actually helping the can-collectors that people here in real Brooklyn have called “an epidemic” and have accused of trashing neighborhoods. The artists said they decorated the carts that canners use to haul their finds around town in an effort to make them look less trashy.

“As the artists improve the carts, it gives them beauty and in the streets these people will now be recognized and respected,” said Ana Martinez De Luco of Williamsburg collection center Sure We Can.

The artists gussied up the carts at a the McKibbin Street center where collectors cash in their assembled aluminum and plastic canisters for 5-cents a pop, as well as participate in counseling sessions and community events.

The organization got the idea for the cart-garnishing session from a Brazilian artist’s project called “Pimp My Carroca” — “carroca” is the Portuguese word for cart — that aims to bring dignity to the men and women on the margins of society who collect discarded goods for recycling.

More than 30 creative types showed to help deck out the can carriers with colorful cartoons and slogans such as “waste no waste,” and their owners say the results look great.

“It makes it nice, makes it better, makes it different,” said canner Eugene Gadsden.

Reach reporter Madeline Anthony by e-mail at manthony@cnglocal.com or by pnone at (718) 260–8321.
Helping Hands: Organizer Silvia Xavier and facility owner Ana Martinez De Luco put on the cart pimp-ifying event.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

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