Press Release – October 21, 2015 – Bogota, Colombia — That’s what Ecoworks SAS would like for everyone to say after the first Pimp My Carroza in Bogota, Colombia – or perhaps Oh, My-My-My Carroza, Bogota!
For those of you who don’t know, a carroza is a two-wheeled cart. In Bogota, there is no formal recycling program. Individuals and families dig the recyclables from the general trash set out for collection. Graffiti artist Thiago Mundano has come up with a practical way to honor these hard-working people who, through their efforts manage to gain a living from their salvage, and are creating a type of informal recycling program.
On November 8th, 50 of these individuals and their families have been selected to participate in a day just for them. Their carts will receive a mechanical overhaul that will include things like mirrors, reflective tape, and marvelous paintings by local artists. The owner of the cart will also receive attention, in the form of hair styling, catered food, a uniform, and various gift bags, including gifts and veterinary services for their pets.
The idea is first to honor these hard-working individual who have managed to keep at least part of the recyclables in Bogota out of the landfills. Bogota produces over 10,000 tons of trash per day. At least fifty percent of it could be recycled. That would be good news for Bogota, and for the environment.
In the city of Bogota, there are 20,000 recyclers – people who make their living picking through the trash for items that can be recycled. They are, for the most part, very much looked down upon. But without them, more items would go to the landfills instead of being recycled. Honoring fifty of them is a very tiny baby step toward creating for them the kind of living wage and safe work environment that many of us take for granted.
Another reason for having this day is to encourage citizens to separate their trash so that the recyclers would not have to dig through it to find the items or to separate them out. This would make the work for easier and safer. “Pimping” out the carts will make them visible – as well as making them more mechanically sound, and adding safety features. Making the carts visible with bright pictures draws attention to the valuable work that they are doing.
Ecoworks SAS is working with the Association of Recyclers of Bogota. The ARB has been working for the last 25 years to gain recognition for the recyclers. The hope is that by pointing out their ecological contribution, they will not only be recognized, but also get paid for the services they provide. The bright, colorful carts will be part of bringing people’s attention to the services provided.
Ecoworks has created a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign as a way to raise both awareness of this situation, and to raise funds to pay for the recyclers’ well-deserved “Pit Stop” time. Several companies have promised ‘in kind’ donations of various sorts, but in order to make this happen, there does need to be some cash involved.
That is where you, Kickstarter supporters, come in. Your donations to this particular event will support a portion of the population that is struggling to make ends meet. It will also encourage appropriate disposal of household waste. This event is not just about recycling, it is about supporting human dignity.
Rewards for your contributions are modest, yet completely relevant. At the lower end of the scale, you will receive a before and after digital picture of a recycler and his carroza. Thank you notes are also available. At the upper end of the scale, you will receive a digital poster created by one of the artists. Imagine having an original artwork as your desktop background, or printing it out and framing it.
Funds raised through the Kickstarter will be used in various ways, including airfare from Brazil for two of the founders to enable them to attend the event. It will also be used to publicize the event so that it gets the attention that it deserves. Recycling is one of those things that is very much on everyone’s mind these days, and it is one way to preserve resources and to make the world a better place to live.
About: Ecowords SAS (www.ecoworks.com.co) has teamed with the Association of Recyclers of Bogota to draw attention to the work that the recyclers do, and to increase recognition of their vital function. Pimp my Carroza Bogota