Karang guni woman says clutter at corridor is not obstructive, says she's earning her own keep
Fed up with the noise from the unit upstairs and the clutter along the corridor, a Potong Pasir resident has lodged a complaint with the town council and the media.
The 56-year-old man, surnamed Ye, told Shin Min Daily News that an elderly couple live with their son, in his 30s, in the unit upstairs.
Every night, he is disturbed by loud thuds from their unit, and is also concerned about the large amount of clutter lining the corridor upstairs.
Shin Min reporters visited the upstairs unit and spoke to the resident – a woman, in her 70s, who said she works as a karang guni.
The reporters noted that the corridor was cluttered with plastic bags, boxes and used items.
The woman, who wished not to be named, said she has been a karang guni for over 20 years, and that it was her main source of income.
"This is me having a backbone," she said.
She explained that she wakes up at 4am every day to look for old goods nearby and returns home only around midnight. She would also push her trolley all the way to Toa Payoh Lorong 8 to buy and sell cardboard.
The woman said her husband works, and that she has five children who give her a monthly allowance – but she prefers to earn her keep.
She said: "I don't want to live off others. I earn my own money. I eat with my own money."
When asked how much she earns, she explained that every 100kg of cardboard sells for $7 and 1kg of old clothes is worth $0.10.
The woman argued that the used items outside her flat do not block foot traffic. But, she added that she has been spoken to by the town council and has agreed to clear the clutter. She aims to finish doing so by Chinese New Year next year.
Shin Min also spoke to other residents in the block about the noise and clutter.
One female resident, who claimed to have lived there for over 30 years, said she's not bothered. While sometimes there might be "too much" going on in the corridors, the karang guni woman would clear the mess eventually.
However, she said she has been trying to sell her house for a while, and potential buyers often get spooked by what they see along the corridor.
Another resident said that even though it was “an eyesore”, they did not think it was a problem if the clutter wasn't stacked in front of their unit.