This is one of those Photo Hunts that had me hunting through my photo archives because sorry, but no way was I going out of my way to take photos of garbage! Indeed, I usually take pains to avoid taking photos containing, to quote the Merriam-Webster dictionary, "discarded or useless material.
Much as one would like for it otherwise, however, garbage often is an apparently invariable presence in photos and reality. In the case of the first photo above, it comes in the form of what gets washed ashore onto beaches like this isolated one out on Tung Lung Chau (trans. Eastern Dragon Island), a largely uninhabited island -- that lies east of the much bigger Hong Kong Island -- where garbage is more likely to be "imported" by ocean waves than generated by the tiny local populace.
Over the course of hunting through my photo archive, I also came across a visual reminder of how it is that just as one person's poison is another's meat or pure pleasure, so it can be that one person's garbage can be another's livelihood, if not outright treasure. Thus it is that while Hong Kong, a place with a significantly disproportionate income disparity between the "haves" and "have nots", is often noted for its consumers of luxury and "name brand" items, it's hard not to also be struck while visiting or living here by the presence of people -- usually older folks at that -- who have effectively become scavengers of re-usable or recyclable materials, including discarded electrical items and old cardboard.
On one hand, I feel so sad when seeing people reduced to such (and not being able to live comfortably in what should be their post-retirement years). On the other hand, I feel great admiration for these folks who seem so determined to live independently and not be a burden to others. And yes, both of these emotions only get heightened upon thinking -- as some writings and films I've come across have implied -- that these working men and women may have been the ones who formed the backbone of Hong Kong's economic rise in the late twentieth century and find themselves still having to work to the bone in the twenty-first century (even while more fortunate contemporaries now are able to rest).