In a poor neighborhood in the west of the city, an excavator removes an impressive quantity of bottles, pieces of plastic and even household appliances which are floating near the dwellings on stilts.

In the south, not far from the river port, municipal agents in orange overalls pick up the rubbish on board a boat and pile it up, to evacuate it, on a large barge, on the Rio Negro, one of the main tributaries of the Amazon.

With the rising waters at this time which marks the end of the rainy season, the waste is sometimes interspersed with tree branches.

Every day, nearly 30 tons of rubbish are removed. In some neighborhoods, the waste is so concentrated that it completely hides the waterways.

This phenomenon recurs every year at this season, but the authorities have noted that the situation has worsened in recent weeks.

From January to May, municipal services removed 4,500 tons of waste, most of which was recyclable, but was thrown into the water by residents.

“Those who live on the banks throw their garbage cans directly into the canals. I believe that only one in five people throws them in the appropriate places,” Antonino Pereira, a 54-year-old resident who finds it difficult to bear, told AFP. the stench near a city bridge.

For José Rebouças, under-secretary of the cleaning services of the town hall, raising awareness of the population would allow the city to save one million reais (about 180,000 euros) per month.

“This awareness is essential to preserve the environment,” he says.

The Amazon region is also hit by a sharp increase in deforestation, which reached a record level in the first half of the year, with more than 3,750 km2 deforested.