In Mexico, there are no proper waste management systems in the slums or a formal recycling industry. Therefore, the approximately $3 billion revenue that is generated from waste and recycling ends up in the hands of just a few people. These people, often referred to as “pepenadores,” see an opportunity in recycling, and they try to make a living out of recycling by selling the recyclables to a “chatarreto,” a person who sells recyclables to recycling factories.
Currently, the waste industry in Mexico is controlled by 1 percent of the country’s richest population and although there is a $24 billion opportunity in the recycling industry in Mexico, there are not enough opportunities.
The Huffington Post has more information:
Pollution and waste accumulation is one of the world’s biggest problems yet to be resolved. Despite the plethora of information and awareness that has been generated surrounding recycling issues in the past several years, it has not been enough. Few people are conscious of the impact of not recycling, and the people most affected by this lack of action are actually the ones who often have the least control. Most of the time, people in low-income communities are left to deal with trash due to the lack of a proper waste management system.
The analogy of spreading good through small acts of kindness turns into the opposite in the case of pollution: it starts with small acts not carried out, like not sorting waste before it ends up in landfills, or not properly disposing of waste at all. This, slowly but surely lays a foundation of pollution, with environmental and health problems quickly following.