|A couple who make their living by scavenging and recycling in the march today on Plaza Bolivar.|
Only a small proportion of Bogotá's garbage gets recycled, and most of that by informal scavengers who search thru the trash for anything they can sell. Today, hundreds of them protested on Plaza Bolivar against new laws which they fear would end their livelihood.
|Protesters ride a colorful bus past the Cathedral.|
|The marchers' banner denounces |
the law closing the scrap dealers.
|A scavenger marches with his cart, |
a common sight in Bogotá.
For all of the recycling industry's inefficiency, it also provides livelihoods for many thousands of impoverished families. Today's marchers protested a decree which would shutter the scrap dealers who buy the materials they scavenge.
|Another common Bogotá sight: |
scattered trash, often smoldering.
The city also plans to educate residents about how to separate their trash into different recycling categories. Within a few years, officials boast, nearly all of the city's trash will be recycled.
That's as big a fantasy, of course, as Bogotá's completely failed plan to get businesses and
consumers to use fewer plastic bags.
|This man's sign says 'Excuse us for scattering trash|
on your sidewalk. We are changing and will set an example.'
|This recycler protested with his cart and dogs.|
|A recycling family's kid in the colorful bus.|
|Yes to the right to work!|
|A man carries a sign protesting a decree which would close junk dealerships.|
|A recycler's cart outside a junk buyer's shop in the Santa Fe neighborhood.|
|A scavenger at work on Calle 13.|
|Another scavenger at work with his cart near the Central Cemetery.|
|Recycling bins in Bogotá's National Park. Despite their labels, all three contain random trash.|
|Most likely, little of this trash will be recycled.|
|The city also plans to prohibit the horsecarts used by many scavengers'.|
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours