Thomas and I took a walk around a fairly working class part of Buenos Aires yesterday. The architecture was in general not as nice as the more central areas, but the street, tree and sidewalk infrastructure was pretty similar to other areas, suggesting that these public services are of fairly strong importance in an economically diverse number of neighborhoods. I also started taking greater notice of the little metal stands in front of many houses that hold the day’s trash for pickup. There is no other city I can think of where trash pickup happens as frequently as here in Buenos Aires. They pick up every night Monday through Friday. It is fascinating to me that so much attention should be paid to this part of public service infrastructure, but relatively less on increasing the number of cars in the very overcrowded subway for example. Is this a conscious decision on the part of the citizens, or merely something that evolved rather randomly? It never seemed a big burden to me that trash pickup in the US happens once a week. I also wonder if people are less inclined to think about how much garbage they produce when small bundles are picked up almost every day.


  1. Maureen says:

    What? Well then, I can clearly *never* visit Buenos Aires. I mean, what good would it do me if I couldn’t “pull a caper?” If they only knew how much fun it was to covet thy neighbor’s empty trash bin…