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A secret millionaire with an MBA and a $1 million home in Brooklyn spends her days collecting cans for $20 at a time

Business Insider logo Business Insider 5 days ago Rachel Premack
© Henny Ray Abrams/AP

Lisa Fiekowski is a secret millionaire with an intriguing exercise routine: collecting trash.

The New York Post on Wednesday published a profile of Fiekowski, a 60-something resident of Brooklyn's upscale Prospect Heights neighborhood.

Fiekowski owns more than $8 million worth of properties around New York City, including a $1 million co-op next to Prospect Park, the Post said, citing records. But at least one of her investments is uninhabitable, thanks partially to her unusual hobby - the Post reported that she had packed one residency with an old microwave, an umbrella, toys, carpets, and other trash.

Fiekowski has been collecting cans for about a decade, telling the Post she generates $20 to $30 for a few hours of work. She said she enjoys it because she can keep active, talk to her neighbors, and keep her area clean.

"Mostly, it's physical activity," she told the Post.

Meanwhile, Fiekowski has an MBA from the University of Chicago, and her husband makes about $180,000 a year, the Post said. She's worked as a marketing analyst and a stockbroker, and her parents were high-ranking economists in the US government.

"My family thinks this whole thing is horrible, but I think it's so funny," she said.

But while her family may not be pleased with how she chooses to spend her days, Fiekowski defends her hobby. She said the outrage around it just showed how judgmental New Yorkers have become.

Related video: Teen collects cans to raise money for no-kill animal shelters (provided by Stitch)

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"I'm an old-fashioned bohemian," Fiekowski told the Post. "To me, what's sad is New York used to have acceptance of people being eccentric, but now it's like, 'Heaven forbid!'"

Last month, the report says, the city towed Fiekowski's 1993 Toyota Camry, which is also filled with junk, dented, and covered in graffiti. But Fiekowski said she had parked it legally.

"People were so upset that this terrible car was in the neighborhood," Fiekowski said. "It shows you how intolerant that area is."

Fiekowski is hardly the first ultrawealthy person to maintain a frugal lifestyle. Ingvar Kamprad, the billionaire founder of Ikea, drove the same Volvo for two decades and preferred to fly coach, Business Insider's Tanza Loudenback previously reported.

Read the entire New York Post profile »

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