Brazil’s largest cities have a serious waste management problem. São Paulo alone produces around 18 thousand tons of waste per day! The rubbish dumps are full and only 1% of garbage is recycled.
Luckily there is a silent army of 20.000 catadores, or people who roam the streets by day and by night, picking up trash and selling whatever can be recycled. The catadores (literally “pickers”) transport the waste on small carts called carroças.
Not all Brazilians are aware of the difference that catadores make in helping to clean their streets, and such an important work is not recognized legally.
Artist Thiago Mundano launched a project that tries to give some visibility to the catadores and to spread the importance of recycling waste. The initiative is called “Pimp My Carroça”, inspired by the famous TV show Pimp my Ride, in which old cars kept in a terrible state are fixed and decorated in an extravagant way.
Mundano paints graffiti on the carts of the catadores, often incorporating messages about eco-recycling. This way, the carroças are certainly noticed in the streets!
Furthermore, Mudano organizes days during which the catadores parade with their carts along the streets, and informative stands are there to educate people about how to recycle properly.
Finally, Mundano’s project also tries to support the catadores by offering health services, as most are homeless people or citizens who are going through a very difficult period of their lives.
For more information on the project, visit pimpmycarroca.com