A group of protesters belonging to the 'cartoneros' recycling movement flooded downtown Buenos Aires on Wednesday, demanding better working conditions and improved pay. Protesters burnt rubbish and blocked off roads with wheelie bins sparking traffic chaos in the city. A lack of police presence in the area meant that fires continued to burn as disruption intensified. The 'cartoneros', which translates as 'people of the cardboard', sort through the city's rubbish and put aside materials that can be sold to recycling companies before official waste collectors arrive. Cartoneros are often family run affairs with entire families being supported on the income of daily rubbish collections. The economic crash which hit Argentina five years ago lead to a boom in cartoneros across Buenos Aires. Collectives formed and disputed over which routes belonged to who as competition increased.
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