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Boise State Honors College

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Tashina Fleming

Our Bronco Honor College alumna, Tashina Fleming, just got an article on trash-pickers in Los Angeles published in the Huffington Post!

She’s is currently attending University of Southern California and will be graduating with her Master’s in Journalism on May 13, 2016.

Read more about Tashina's experience.

I spent last semester working on a project about the “basketpushers” of Los Angeles– a vast class of people who make a living off redeeming recyclables found in trashcans and dumpsters throughout LA. I interviewed dozens of basketpushers and although many recycle to survive, there are many who recycle for other people. I met a high school teacher from South LA who recycles and donates all of the money to charities he works at on the weekends. I also got the wonderful opportunity to spend a day following around a man named Dalano, who is one of many recycling to survive on the streets of South LA. I found that even though the work is both taxing and dirty, many basketpushers such as Dalano, enjoy recycling and take pride in their work. I also discovered in Southern California, basketpushers are often invisible and overlooked by the majority of society. However, unbeknownst to many people, basketpushers help the state of California meet stringent environmental standards. A portion of my project, which discussed the symbiotic environmental and economical relationship between basketpushers and the state of California, was picked up and published by the The Huffington Post. Check out my article below to read more about it, but most importantly check out my video within the article to see how Dalano is using recycling to fund his dream of becoming a chef. Even though this was my first project of the year, it remains the most enlightening and serves as a perpetual reminder to never take a situation or person at face value.