Cartoneros in Buenos Aires came to prominence after the economic crisis of 2001 put thousands of people out of work. They basically remove anything that can be recycled from the city’s waste and take it to recycling centres throughout the city. They are not doing it from any civic duty or environmental ideals, they are doing it to survive. There are about 10,000 cartoneros in Buenos Aires….here are just a few from the San Telmo and Downtown areas. My thanks to all of them.
For more information, read this excellent article