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City pays street cleaners with alcohol and cigarettes

By Mason White 12:47 PM October 2, 2014
Cigarette and beer illustration 

By: Anika Rao
A city in Germany, said that it begun paying some cleaners with alcohol and cigarettes.

On Wednesday, drugs and alcohol addicts who clean the streets of Essen, will receive beer, tobacco products, food and small amounts of cash.

Social workers will monitor the project called “Pick Up” in a dilapidated area around the central train station.

The initial test includes six people who are going to sweep the streets and collect the garbage in exchange for 1.25 euros (1 euro = $1.26) per hour, a hot meal and three bottles of beer after their shift, as well as cigarettes for smokers.

The plan has been strongly criticized by human rights groups.

Project managers argue that the plan, which is based on a Dutch model, aims to reintegrate seriously addicted people into society.