Thursday, December 20, 2012


First of all, let me state that I have no desire whatsoever to be mayor of Bogotá, an unruly, sprawling megalopolis of 13 million people.  They probably wouldn't vote for an aging gringo anyway.
But they did vote for Gustavo Petro, a former member of the M-19 urban guerrilla group, which group laid down their arms and decided to join the political process in the 90's.
While Petro has definite left-leaning tendencies, he is also considered a progressive, and in a lot of ways is trying to shove Bogotá screaming and kicking in to the mainstream of the modern world.
However, the trash pick-up companies of the city dug in their heels at his plan to municipalize them, attempting to turn their employees in to city workers.  Their tactic was simple, predictable and smelled pretty bad.
The other part of the mayor's plan was to institute recycling, whether you want it or not.  However, the plan didn't include the trucks needed or other infrastructure, just the decree.
There are approximately 11,000 'recicladores,' or folks who make their living off of doing just what Mayor Petro is trying to get Bogotanos to do by his mandate - separating their recyclables from other garbage.  They make the rounds of the garbage containers in town and load their horse carts,
and push carts,
and search the nooks and crannies,
and in the end do a remarkably efficient job at turning in recyclables, while eking out an admittedly tough living.
In the end, with the garbage quickly piling up, the trash fight ended by the mayor returning things to their previous state, but with the vow to keep trying.
One commentary read, "The recycling plan looks doomed to failure, not only because Bogotanos just aren't used to separating their trash [themselves], [but they] aren't used to following government instructions."  Bogotanos??!!  NO!!
We hope that your trash (and your recyclables) are moving along at the proper pace.
Dave & Paula


Sherwood family said...

So I was reading a book about the Panama canal and McCullough described Bogota as one of the most remote, backward capitols in the world. Sounds like they're just being historically consistent, right?

Container Rental NYC said...

This place sounds quite backwards, I wouldn't be able to live there. I would have to agree with Sherwood.

-Land Source Container Service, Inc.