Posts Tagged ‘rubbish’

Certain Death

A street catador of cardboard

A street 'catador' of cardboard

I am a catador. I know it sounds like an AA confession; and I know it is an addiction. The verb catar in Portuguese means to ‘pick up’ or ‘scoop up’ and is used to describe people who collect useful, recyclable items from other people’s rubbish. These catadores are present everywhere. They collect cardboard, plastic, scrap metal, anything that is not nailed down and sell-able.

I have just read a story about a catadora (f) saving a plant that had been thrown away by someone else and relocating it outside her door on Good Girl Gone Green. Bells rung, lightbulbs flashed (the new CFLs don’t do this) and I realised that I had a post for today.

Espada de São Jorge

I have survived the last three years by ‘picking up’ useful stuff on the street. A few months back I saw a lovely plant Espada de São Jorge (St George’s sword) lying discarded on a pile of rubble. Someone had had a clean out. I was on the way to a private lesson, on the way back, it was still there; quite a clump the roots were just beginning to dry. I picked it up and walked the half hour home and put in a bucket of water to recover saving it from a certain death. Being quite a hardy plant, it did and I have long since replanted it in one of my elegant paint tins. The one shown is not mine, still lacking batteries for my camera.

My plant is ready to be divided and spread around a .bit.

I have no idea what the plant is called in English, if anyone has an idea, please leave a comment.


During my search for an image I found this and thought it appropriate…

A catadore's hand cart


The Portuguese reads: “I recycle, and you?” and “My car doesn’t pollute!”

There is Hope

Mexico City closes Bordo Poniente rubbish dump

Scavengers who scrape a living at the dump are hoping for formal jobs in recycling

Mexico City has closed its main rubbish dump, Bordo Poniente, which is one of the world’s biggest open-air landfills.

At its peak, hundreds of lorries were dumping more than 12,000 tons of waste each day.

That figure had already been cut in half this year by new recycling and composting plants, officials said.

Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard said the closure would significantly help reduce the capital’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Mr Ebrard said his government would seek bids to establish a plant to turn the methane gas given off by the accumulated waste into energy.

A cement company has agreed to buy 3,000 tons of dry waste daily to burn as fuel.


The composting plant is already providing organic fertiliser for the city’s parks and gardens, as well as for farms in neighbouring areas.

There are also plans to reprocess building waste into construction materials.

The city government says it is negotiating with hundreds of people who scrape a living by scavenging for reusable material on the site to find them formal jobs in waste processing.

The Bordo Poniente dump was established on a dry lake bed in the 1980s, partly to handle rubble from the devastating Mexico City earthquake of 1985.

More than 70m tons of waste have been dumped there, and in places the rubbish lies more than 17m (56 feet) deep.

Its closure is being seen as a milestone in Mexico’s City’s efforts to make its waste management system one of the greenest in Latin America.

Source: BBC News


Top Marks

It is gratifying to see countries like Mexico making such inroads; it is only like this we can stall the forthcoming doom of this planet, maybe even stall it completely.


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