Here is the translation of the Holy Father's message to the Federation of "Cartoneros" and "Recicladores" ((literally, “cardboard people” and “recyclers”) - the poor people who collect and pick up trash around the world. The message was recorded during a private audience with the Argentian union.
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In this assembly of “cartoneros” and “recicladores”, think on how to continue forward in this work of recycling - forgive me for saying - what is leftover. Because what is leftover is rich. Today we can’t afford to despise that which is leftover. We are living in a throwaway culture where we easily leave over things, but people as well. You recycle and with this two things are produced: an ecological work, which is necessary, and on the other hand, a production that promotes brotherhood and gives dignity to one’s work, you are creative in your production, but also creative in caring for the earth, of the world in this ecological dimension. You know that the food that is thrown away can feed all the hungry people in the world. Think on this as you continuously find food that is thrown away. And remain with this conscience: that recycling is not only ecological - which is something great - but also productive to everyone else. And be conscious that food should not be wasted, because there are children who are hungry.
Thank you for what you do.
[Translation by ZENIT]