Typical Rag and Bone Man

A typical housing estate

I was in Chinatown two weeks ago, when I spotted the karung guni man by the roadside alley. He was stationed there in the mornings for township residents and those who live nearby.

He usually weighs the items like recycle-able stuff by the kilo. Chinatown is a place that has many old folks who goes into hawker centres or food courts collecting soft drink cans to make their money from. A karung guni man is also the typical rag and bone man who makes house visits in residential homes few times a week, with a hand horn that pumps and the usual calls of 'kallang guni' every now and then. With these calls, most people who has newspapers, unused or spoilt electrical items, handphones, clothes may sell it to them. Some karung guni man buys at a good rate but some calls for such a miserable low rate. At my home, we get about as many as 4 calls from different karung guni man per week, but the one that I sell my old newspaper to is actually an old man who comes on thursdays. He gives the best rate, is courteous and is local.

The rest that I've sold some stuff before were china nationals or some locals who were somewhat arrogant or even suspicious looking. The average karung guni man actually makes a lot if he does a good round in an estate. Because the high rise buildings in Singapore are very saturated, he doesn't really need to cover more 'ground' but he covers more in height.

Recycle products are really worth a lot, especially now that paper cost is on the rise. I remembered that I could fetch about $10 - $20 per garbage bags per week just by selling my weekly soft drink cans to the karung guni man. The money goes to my maid who helps to flatten them.. hehehe