I met a remarkable man just now on the street near our home in Tribeca, New York. Gene spends his day searching through the city's open trash cans pulling out cans and bottles for recycling. On a good day, he can make $200. Today $50. In his makeshift pushcart pictured here... $2 worth. By my calculation he personally ensures the recycling of more than 1m cans and bottles a year.Gene walked at twice my speed, ignoring the traffic, still going strong at 8.30pm after traveling down from the Bronx early in the morning. He was upbeat, funny, cool and proud of his high-speed trash-picking technique.I'm in the middle of Alain de Botton's brilliant new book "The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work" on finding meaning in what you do. Gene should have had his own chapter. An inspiration.