Anti-Poverty Program Promotes Recycling for Food

As part of an anti-poverty program in Caracas, food is given to residents in exchange for scrap metal, glass and other recyclable garbage.
September 14, 2003, 5am PDT | Connie Chung
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"Under the 'Big Swap' program organized by authorities in Caracas' Libertador district, residents can exchange 55 pounds of scrap metal for 2.2 pounds of rice, 4.4 pounds of aluminum for a can of powdered milk, and 44 pounds of glass for a can of tuna. Caracas' slums are overflowing with garbage. Old fridges, mattresses and used tires are among tonnes of rubbish clogging the steep ravines packed with poor homes that ring the sprawling capital of the world's No. 5 oil exporter. According to official estimates, 80 percent of Venezuela's 25 million people live in poverty....Organizers said the food-for-garbage program had more than one benefit. Besides providing food for the poor, it also helped to clear refuse-choked ravines that overflow in the rainy season, threatening homes with deadly floods and mudslides....The idea of exchanging recyclable garbage for food originated in the Brazilian city of Curitiba."

Thanks to Connie Chung

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Published on Thursday, October 13, 2005 in Yahoo! Newswire
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