What to Know
A can collector whose recyclables-filled car is unwelcome in her Brooklyn neighborhood owns more than $8 million in real estate
Lisa Fiekowski's can-collecting is just a hobby she uses to get exercise, she told the New York Post
The collector reportedly owns a $1 million co-op in Brooklyn, as well as at least three properties in Harlem
A can collector whose graffiti-covered, recyclables-filled car is an unwelcome fixture in her Brooklyn neighborhood reportedly owns more than $8 million in New York City real estate.
Lisa Fiekowski spends much of her free time collecting cans, which she packs into her 1993 Toyota Camry, the New York Post reported. But her can-collecting is just a hobby she uses to get exercise, not a hustle she needs to make money, she told the outlet.
The self-described “old-fashioned bohemian” owns a $1 million co-op near Prospect Park, as well as at least three properties in Harlem, according to the outlet. Her husband, meanwhile, earns around $180,000 a year in a job with the city.
“It keeps me active. I talk to people in the neighborhood. I guess I was always a recycler. Mostly, it’s physical activity,” Fiekowski said of her hobby. “I figured I make a little money at the same time. Keep the neighborhood clean.”
Fiekowski, who has an MBA from Chicago University and has worked as a marketing analyst and a stockbroker, bought a one-bedroom apartment for $22,000 when she moved to New York in 1979, she said. She told the Post she started investing in real estate in the mid-80s.
Neighbors and family members don’t appreciate her hobby or her can-filled car, which they consider to be an eyesore, she said.
“People were so upset that this terrible car was in the neighborhood,” she said. “It shows you how intolerant that area is.”
Reactions to her hobby and her vehicle reflect the ways in which New York has changed over the years, she maintained.
“To me, what’s sad is New York used to have acceptance of people being eccentric, but now it’s like, ‘Heaven forbid!’”