Friday, October 12, 2007
third world operation - first world objectives
Camilo coined the phrase "third world operation with first world objectives" and I love it for describing the recycling system in Rio. I don't know if other areas of Rio have this same process, but I know that this is the way recycling works in Ipanema and Leblon. These men with carts go into the commercial areas and pick up cardboard boxes, old or left over construction material, old refrigerators, defunct computers - nothing is too large or too small. for their wooden carts. When full, they pull the carts through traffic, down along the canal to the Logoa. They wait in lines to offload onto a truck owned by a cooperative. The goodies from the cart is measured by weight or volume and they are paid on average of R$40.00 per load. (WE stopped and ask how it works) Then they turn around and go for more, they can often collect 2 or 3 loads per day. This is hard, hot, backbreaking work - but they own the cooperative. They don't beg or steal, they provide a much needed commercial and environment service.