The first two things and the introductory statement are here.
3. You Develop a Weird Relationship with Homeless People
Humans, especially Western humans, produce enough refuse that there really is more than enough to go around. There are still places where it’s harder or much, much easier to collect lots of it at once, though, and those spots get “claimed” very quickly. A kind of turf system is at work in the scavenging game, and people like me were competing with every other kind of vagrant for the same prime trash-collecting spots. There’s no “turf war,” or even negotiating over territory. If you get good enough at collecting in one area, it stops being lucrative for the other people who were doing it, and they leave on their own for less contentious places. On the handful of occasions that I met someone else who visited my building for refuse that the tenants helpfully left bagged by the outside door, it was always tense. Were we sizing each other up to see who would keep this area as theirs? I tried to give them some of what I found whenever this happened, because I knew most of them would be much worse off than I was. They’d never outdo my collection efforts, though—I could afford to come to that room daily with a shopping cart, and they showed up occasionally with a bicycle, or just bags.