“It’s not as if 50 people woke up one morning and said, ‘Today, instead of getting a real job, I’m going to go steal cardboard.’
And here is a bit on why cardboard theft has evolved into an organized business:
The city’s impound managers might want to phone China. That country, along with other developing nations like India, is driving the market by paying top dollar for used cardboard. The foreign recyclers then blend it down to remold into new products, such as containers for exports eventually shipped back to the United States.
Again, though the business may sound humdrum, it can be extremely profitable. In 2010, China’s richest woman was “cardboard queen” Zhang Yin, whose $5.6 billion recycling empire made her wealthier than Oprah.