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City of Buenos Aires installs ‘anti-poor’ waste containers against wastepickers’ rights, Argentina

The City of Buenos Aires installs ‘anti-poor’ smart containers that impedes the access of wastepickers to recyclable waste. Demonstrations have been repressed with tear gas, and no dialogue has been promoted.


The City of Buenos Aires has installed smart waste containers in one of the main streets of the city. One of the ministers of the city admitted that the main reason was to avoid the rummage through the waste by wastepickers. Therefore, they decided to give visibility to the fact that this means a loss of access to waste for them. Without the access to waste, their livelihoods and the ones of their families are put at risk. The answer to this demonstration was violence from the part of the Municipality and no dialogue.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:City of Buenos Aires installs ‘anti-poor’ waste containers against wastepickers’ rights, Argentina
State or province:Buenos Aires
Location of conflict:Autonomous City of Buenos Aires
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Waste Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Waste privatisation conflicts / waste-picker access to waste
Specific commodities:Domestic municipal waste
Project Details and Actors
Project details

6,000-7,000 tons of waste per day is the total domestic waste in the city of Buenos Aires.

Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:5,000-6,000
Start of the conflict:04/2019
Company names or state enterprises:Veolia Argentina from France - This company has the rights of the waste management of the city of Buenos Aires.
Relevant government actors:Municipality of the City of Buenos Aires:
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Argentinian Organization of Waste Pickers (Federación Argentina de Cartoneros Carreros y Recicladores - CTEP in Spanish).
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Informal workers
Local ejos
Wastepickers, recyclers
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Development of alternative proposals
Objections to the EIA
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Hunger strikes and self immolation
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Waste overflow
Health ImpactsPotential: Malnutrition
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
Application of existing regulations
Proposal and development of alternatives:There were no alternatives presented nor developed as there has been no dialogue.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The 18 smart garbage containers have been installed and more are planned to be installed. The Municipality of the city of Buenos Aires haven't considered the impact of these containers. Meanwhile, wastepickers' livelihoods are put at risk since they have no access to waste in the parts of the city where these anti-poor containers are used.
Sources & Materials

[1]Newspaper El Ciudadano
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[2] Veolia Argentina.
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[3] Website RT
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[4] Federación Argentina de Cartoneros Carreros y Recicladores - CTEP, 2019
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[5] Website EN ORSAI
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Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Media Impact: Cronica TV.
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Media Impact: La Nación
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Media Impact: Clarin
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Media Impact: Diario Popular
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Meta information
Contributor:Valeria Calvas
Last update12/09/2019
Conflict ID:4364
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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