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Dog poo and rubbish

Fresh dog poo on Honduras y Arevalo

A Dog Walker near Carranza Station

My neighbourhood Palermo is beautiful with great trees and grand buildings but I dare not look up at them when I go walking around because I am very likely to step into a gift deposited by the local dogs! Anyone and everyone in BA has a dog, but why oh why do none of the owners pick up their loved ones shit? Buenos Aires’ streets are lined with dog poo!

In BA where people outsource pretty much everything – laundry is picked up and delivered back, washed and pressed to apartments; people are paid to stand in queues to pay bills; and dog walkers take your dog for a walk when you are busy drinking a fernet cola in a bar. I saw a number of dog walkers, sometimes with eight or ten dogs walking down the street slowly and stopping every couple of minutes to let one of the dogs pee against a tree/lamppost or shit in the street!

Another interesting thing about Palermo’s streets is that they have baskets on poles in every street. This is where people deposit their household waste. Sometime, in the night or early mornings, rubbish collectors pick up the rubbish bags. It seemed amusing to me that BA people should advertise their rubbish so prominently on each street! Also I saw rubbish bags piled up in lots of places!

Yesterday I saw an ‘any old iron’ type of a guy walking down the street with a cart and going through rubbish bins and bags and taking out cardboard and plastic to add to his piles on his cart. I found the following excerpt about these cartoneros:

‘Waste scavengers of Buenos Aires. In Buenos Aires informal waste collectors recover 9 to 17 per cent of municipal waste, representing an estimated saving for the municipality of US$30 000 to US$70 000 a day or US$3.5 to US$7 per collector. Scavenger households earn an average of US$58.4 a week. Despite their role in the economy, the working conditions of Buenos Aires cartoneros and their counterparts in other cities in the developing world are very poor, working mainly at night, without any protection such as masks or gloves.’


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