Text by UCRUS and CPC – translated from Spanish to English
A Montevideo bill proposed for January 2014 would create “exclusionary zones” where waste pickers and their horse-drawn carts would not be allowed to enter. The bill involves not only the exclusion of waste pickers but the privatization of recyclables only accessible to so-called “authorized” parties. Many waste pickers, known as clasificadores in Uruguay, who work with carts have had them confiscated for years now, and have also been barred from certain neighborhoods. They have already been feeling the impact of privatization and exclusion for a long time. Every day they have access to fewer goods. UCRUS began mobilizing to demand a stop to this process — visiting neighborhoods where many waste pickers live, presenting its demands and proposals to government agencies and political parties. But when UCRUS didn’t receive any response to its complaints, it organized the 5th march with horse-drawn carts on July 26 against the privatization bill. Press release in Spanish
On August 5, the Coordinadora Pro Clasificadores (CPC) circulated a press release in support of the clasificadores, saying in short that the government should look closely at social impacts of these measures and that instead of prohibiting carts and horses used for recycling collection, they should do a study on waste pickers and offer a dignified work option with decent social and environmental conditions. Coordinadora Pro Clasificadores: Circulación de Carros con caballos en Montevideo (full release in Spanish).