Informal recyclers from the district of La Chorrera, in Panama, were banned from entering the dump they had been working at. The company in charge of the waste management of the district, Empresa Metropolitana de Aseo (EMAS), argued that the dump closed due to the opening of a new one, although it did not fulfil the sanitary requirements demanded to open.
In 2006, the district of La Chorrera (Panama) gave the rights of waste management of the area to the private company Empresa Metropolitana de Aseo (EMAS), for twenty years, until 2026. In 2016, the public authority Autoridad de Aseo Urbano y Domiciliario (AAUD) informed that the company in charge did not succeed on the task of fulfilling all the sanitary requirements needed to open the new dump ‘El Diamante’. Additionally, in 2017, in order to close the old dump in 'Playa Chiquita', there were some sanitation requirements that needed to be fulfilled, in order to make it a public park as planned .
Around 100 wastepickers of the district of La Chorrera, known (as in México) as 'pepenadores', have worked in the dump 'Playa Chiquita' for twenty years . Nevertheless, since the waste management company decided to move the operations to the new dump, they have been denied access. On the other hand, the wastepickers and people from the area claimed that the new dump 'El Diamante' is already working and polluting the areas that surrounds it, and that it has no legal right to be operating . Being denied the access of both dumps, the 'pepenadores' of 'La Chorrera' lose the opportunity to make a living and -without any right or law that protects them- they lose access to the only revenue that they can aspire to.
After various days of protest and blocking roads in October 2017, claiming their right to enter the dump to collect different recyclables, the group of 'pepenadores' was given the access to the old dump 'Playa Chiquita'. Nevertheless, this access was just temporary. The wastepickers would have access for three more months to the dump until the 31st of December 2017, but after that date the access would be denied again. The proposal came from the Major of the district who invited the 'pepenadores' to join any of the training programs offered by the public authorities to learn other jobs . Therefore, he just provided a temporal solution when their problem is that their way of making a living has been taken away. No further claim was made by wastepickers who worked in the dump.