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Landfill scavengers living on our waste

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posted on May, 18 2012 @ 07:36 AM
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I just came across this story about groups of people in Africa who live and scavenge in garbage landfill sites, digging through rubbish to find and sell recyclables.

I think it's a pretty good way to solve waste management issues. Why not employ huge ammounts of unemployed people to go through waste sites and retrieve recyclables? We know that many first world countries even ship their waste to poorer places, I wonder if governments are looking into this to create jobs and make money recycled plastics.

Here is a gallery showing how some of these people live:




Follow the link for more, somewhat heartbreaking, pictures:
Recycling wastelands of South Africa




posted on May, 18 2012 @ 07:44 AM
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How ignorant! You must be joking!
You know that this is a breeding place for infections and else. They do that because they would STARVE otherwise.
This is dangerous. You can get all kinds of infections if you hurt yourself while searching (and you will hurt).

How about buying form your local people? No plastic waste to recycle. Get a cotton bag. Go to your local farmer, butcher and so on. This way, you will create way more work for people then buying the walmart meat.

I´m speechless.

edit on 18-5-2012 by verschickter because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 18 2012 @ 08:01 AM
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reply to post by verschickter
 


You raise a good point, the health of these individuals is certinly a concern. The article in fact mentions an individual who was clearly injured through this work.

Nevertheless, landfill sites are a reality in most countries, especially in developing countries that don't have amazing recycling infrastructure.

It seems like this work is highly informal, my suggestion is for government to formalise it and give workers the propper protective equipment, like gloves and masks, necessary to carry out such work, as I beleive it is potentially quite valuable.



posted on May, 18 2012 @ 08:07 AM
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reply to post by verschickter
 


well they could relocate and find work. or stay there and pick garbage.. its a choice

the world is a big place and life is what you make of it.



posted on May, 18 2012 @ 08:13 AM
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Human being shouldnt depend on others trash to live
PERIOD

thank God that the 21 december of 2012 is almost here
many things will then change for the better

edit on 5/18/2012 by Ben81 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 18 2012 @ 08:20 AM
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May I just this opportunity to encourage people to CONSUME LESS

We're constantly bombarded with 'Recycle this, Recycle that' but recycling is not a long term solution. We need to consume far less than we currently do to keep our way of life sustainable, and to improve the lives of those in countries that suffer through our addiction to 'stuff'.

If we consume less, that would mean less waste, less plastic, less demand, less destruction etc etc.

Nobody should have to dig through trash to live, there is and should be plenty for everyone.
edit on 18-5-2012 by AmazonOfArtemis because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 18 2012 @ 08:32 AM
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reply to post by The_Modulus
 


This is not unique to Africa, it goes on all over the world. In Guatemala City, there are children known as "Children of the Dump". The families actually have cities there, and spend their lives there. The shelters are constructed of found items. I have pictures, but they would have to be scanned and such. Sigh.



posted on May, 18 2012 @ 08:36 AM
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Originally posted by The_Modulus
Why not employ huge ammounts of unemployed people to go through waste sites and retrieve recyclables?




you first



they are scavenging because rich nations hog all the resources for themselves and leave poor'er nations to eat their trash.
edit on 18-5-2012 by infowarrior9970 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 18 2012 @ 09:05 AM
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reply to post by infowarrior9970
 


Correction to that. Rich nations send plenty of help, but the leaders of poor nations sell the food for ammunition instead of helping their people. Allocation has blockages on the RECEIVING end.



posted on May, 18 2012 @ 09:07 AM
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reply to post by AmazonOfArtemis
 


I totally agree with you, but sometimes it's hard not to consume necessities that are packaged in an insane amount of material. Sometimes I am amazed at what kind of packaging is used for some items.

On a side note, since I became more aggressive about reusing things and recycling the things I can't reuse, my garbage has been considerably reduced. I am amazed at how much I was throwing out that was reusable and recyclable. It's nice. Also, part of the garbage was food trimmings and whatnot. Now, every bit of peelings and cores and trimmed off foodstuff goes in a bag in the freezer and when the bag is full, I make broth with it to freeze and use when I make soup or something that calls for it.



posted on May, 18 2012 @ 10:14 AM
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Here's another great article on the topic of landfill scavengers with excellent pictures.

Chinese landfill children

I wish that people didn't have to live like this. But the reality is that people on the fringes are drawn by economic incentives within their reach.

There are people desperate enough to need this income, and instead of demonising it, we should embrace these opportunities and legitimise them.

The same argument can be made for prostitution and drugs, by legalising them you can reduce some of the social baggage that they carry.

I think governments need to support these people, accept them as a reality and ensure that they can improve their lives through increase in the recycling industry.



posted on May, 18 2012 @ 04:20 PM
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Originally posted by verschickter
How ignorant! You must be joking!
You know that this is a breeding place for infections and else. They do that because they would STARVE otherwise.
This is dangerous. You can get all kinds of infections if you hurt yourself while searching (and you will hurt).

How about buying form your local people? No plastic waste to recycle. Get a cotton bag. Go to your local farmer, butcher and so on. This way, you will create way more work for people then buying the walmart meat.

I´m speechless.

edit on 18-5-2012 by verschickter because: (no reason given)


Indeed... i am aghast at this thread and the reply by spaceg0at... Absolutely unbelievable... i am not going to say anymore and will leave this thread... utterly speechless.



posted on May, 18 2012 @ 07:12 PM
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Thanks for a good post.

I think some folks need to get off their high, isolated horse and realize this is how a very large percentage of the world lives. It ain't great but there is little choice for them. Is there disease? Sure, lots of it. And?

Spend some time in neat-o places of the world and you will see it over and over again. Stop wringing your hands over. It sucks and will suck long after you turn the lights out tonight and sleep in relative comfort on a relative full stomach.

I kinda like the idea of hands-on employment in this country to take care of some things. It has possibilities.



posted on May, 18 2012 @ 07:19 PM
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This is the future of the entire human species, to scavenge a meager existence among the waste and ruins of their ancestors.

You may look away, but your children will not.



posted on May, 18 2012 @ 07:24 PM
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reply to post by OrchusGhule
 


You may look away, but your children will not.

Yeah, sort of. They'll be using very efficient methods to mine the landfills we've created. In the world they live in the economics will make it worthwhile.

Manual methods will not be effective because of the way landfills in developed countries are managed. No rummaging for aluminum cans here.


edit on 5/18/2012 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 18 2012 @ 08:09 PM
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I suppose no one has heard of "Freegans" before? Thats kinda the US equivalent. Though they mostly choose to do so but I just had to mention it.



posted on May, 18 2012 @ 08:24 PM
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reply to post by spaceg0at
 


Because yes, people who don't have a home, food,or water, or a basic education, have moving expenses saved up.



posted on May, 18 2012 @ 08:41 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 


Lets hope they develop a method fast because modern landfills are still a hazard. A company that opens a landfill still has to put a very large insurance policy on it for 50 years after it is capped.

Though modern landfills are now required to have a double clay liner, they break and there is still a risk of groundwater pollution. private wells in my state that are within a mile of landfill have to be tested by the government,every six months for 10 years to make sure there is no leakage into the water supply. The methane gas has to be burned off,

I can't imagine a producte more vile than leachate, even though it is collected and treated like sewage, it still overflows and that ground has to be removed and treated.

The landfill still gathers pests and vermin, and wildlife is trapped and killed in the netting that surrounds a landfill to catch blowoff.

Then you now have large portions of ground where a capped landfill is that cannot be built on, and can only be used for parks and green space.

And the biggest problem?

Landfills are fill so fast that the majority of landfills will fill up within the next few decades. Land that meets environmental requirements for lanfills is getting scarce.
There are currently 3,000 landfills and 10,000 dead landfills.

This doesn't count the number of old or unregistered landfills.



posted on May, 18 2012 @ 08:42 PM
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What if we do what we used to do... offer a return deposit on recyclables... glass, paper, plastics. A lot of states still do this today.

I remember as a kid going up and down the road picking up bottles to turn in for money or credit on purchases. Even in college back in the early 1980s, we went around collecting bottles for beer money.

We cleaned up the roadsides and made money too.

Now a days, people are doing the same with scrap metal. It's hard to find a junked car sitting in the woods these days.

This way, the more you pick up, the more you make... everybody wins. There are actually some career scrapers...aka Sanford and Son, that make a living picking up and selling scrap and recyclables around our county. On certain days they will be by the golf course picking up golf balls, other days you see them picking up cans or hauling a trailer load of rusty scrap washing machines and engine blocks.

As for food, if you ever go homeless... live behind a grocery store. On the good side, farmers are always scavangers buying old, stale bread for hog feed or bags of trimmings and culled veggies from the supermarket for livestock.

Further, there are those that make a living refitting old building materials... beams and bricks from old textile plants to planing wood siding a hundred years old and building furniture or flooring.

On a personal level, you can literally build a house and furnish it with stuff from the dump. I built 2 barns and only bought the tin roofing... have reused furniture from the dump for yard furniture and whimsical rest stops along paths around my farm...

To do the above successfully, you need 2 things... an open and creative mind and a willingness to work. Cleaning up and refurbishing lumber takes some work. Usually a nice afternoon, a 6 pack, a crow bar, hammer and patience will yield a pile of 4 foot 2x4s, a stack of 8 foot 2x4s or 2x6s, sometimes some sheets of plywood or OSB board, and a bucket of nails and wood screws....

And it saves a lot of money.



posted on May, 18 2012 @ 08:43 PM
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reply to post by AmazonOfArtemis
 


We have all heard the statement: reduce, reuse, recycle.

There is a reason that reduce is listed first. Because then resources aren't used to create the product and resources aren't used to dispose of it.

A third of landfill space is taken up by paper.

Paper is the in the top 3 of filthiest industries.



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