Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Being a Reciclador in Colombia is synonymous with what we here in the States might call being a "Dumpster Diver," "Garbage Picker" or "Scavenger." Recyclers in Colombia participate in an informal economy, combing the streets, garbage cans, dumpsters, and garbage dumps for recyclable material to then transport to either middle men or the actual recycling center. Wood, metal, aluminum, cardboard, and plastic are all fair game. Recyclers often also find treasures that they try to repair or repurpose.
Recicladores are among the poorest and most marginalized people in Colombia. They are often seen driving horse or mule drawn wagons called -- ZORRAS (pronounced SOR RAS) -- see picture above.