Running on Empties

Isaac Hale

Ohio University

Tom Cullums and Charlotte Buck have been frequenting trash cans and dumpsters in the city of Athens, Ohio, for several years in search of aluminum cans. The couple collects cans in bulk to bring to local scrapyards to make some extra money to supplement their food stamps. They both also collect mechanical parts and wood scraps to use on projects in their home. Tom has a practical background in mechanics, especially auto mechanics. He uses this knowledge to keep the car running by fashioning unique replacement parts for those that have worn out. He has also modified the car to better suit their can-collecting activities.