Sitting on the balcony of a local pizza place, relaxing in the open air and casting judgment on creation placed in front of me to eat, I could not help but notice joyous laughter from the street below.
I looked down and saw a group of indigenous people rummaging through a large garbage pile, all the while joking and laughing. Going through garbage piles on the street is a regular occurrence and it seems to be well organized. Every evening before a garbage pickup residents and businesses place their garbage along the sidewalk and shortly thereafter members of the indigenous community arrive and diligently remove card-board, plastic bottles and anything else that may be of value to them. Always tidy and respectful of the community, they often wear rubber gloves and the ladies have aprons to keep their clothes from being soiled. After selecting what they want, the remainder is left neatly piled and they leave for the next pile on foot or a passing collection truck.
This activity reminded me that while recycling is often seen as a new and necessary trend, it is an activity that has been with us long before now. Sometimes to see ahead we should look behind.
I recall as a young boy sitting on the porch of my grandmother’s house when along the street came a wagon pulled by a horse. As he moved along the street the driver would shout “ Junk Man “ and the residents who had “junk” that they didn’t want would give it to him. He would then take it away for repair, resale or cannibalization. This was clearly a recycling business. Over the years we became wasteful and “junk”, something unwanted, got lost in garbage / trash which until recent technological advances was of no subsequent use. There was occasionally a bonus to the passage of this horse drawn vehicle evident when a neighbor would run out onto the street to collect fresh fertilizer for their garden – environmentally friendly. Recycling – for sure !
Click RSS Icon to automatically follow Andre's Blog.
Follow Andre on Twitter