| The wheeled shopping carts begin their route as night falls over the Back Bay, rolling and rattling until the morning. It pays to be there first, according to Kenny, a man in his late 50's who enjoys the street life. "If you're early, it's yours," he says. Monday morning in the Back Bay is a good time to go canning.
For the residents of this upscale Boston neighborhood, each Monday and Thursday morning is trash day, biweekly opportunities to eliminate excess items. Monday also happens to be the day of recycling, and as such, those searching for cans can find plenty of them.
"Canning" as it is called by those who do it, involves sifting through trash and recyclables in order to reclaim the 5 cent deposit from such containers. To Ralph, the act is as simple as "finding money and picking it up."[photo] His day begins at 6, when he heads to the neighborhood from a downtown shelter. Most mornings, he's finished by 10:30 or so, taking some time to enjoy a beer with the other regulars.[photo]
By this time of the morning, the garbage truck has worked its way down much of the alley between