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March 10, 2009

Stung Meanchey Landfill, a.k.a. "Smokey Mountain" - Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Another example of the effect of little or no government support for scavenging, the open dump site in Phnom Penh, referred to as " Smokey Mountain" is a "home" to hundreds of workers and families. Chronic respiratory and skin diseases are the result of methane and hazardous chemical exposure, as well as open fires on the landfill. The images reinvorce the need for better integration and support for informal waste workers worldwide.

Informal waste workers save many municipalities enormous amounts of money in resource recovery, diverting waste from landfills, and in some areas through collection, "in Buenos Aires, informal waste collectors known as "scavengers" recover 9 - 17% of municipal waste, representing an estimated savings for the municipality of $30,000 USD to $70,000 USD each day." (see article for statistical sources)

March 4, 2009

"The Magic Mountain: Trickle-down economics in a Philippine garbage dump"

The Magic Mountain is a poetic account of the Payatas Dumpsite after the 2000 collapse, chronicling the conditions of the mangangalahigs (waste pickers) and one of the development projects. Reiterates the global trend of unskilled laborers turning to waste picking as not only a means of survival but as a way to eke out a living slightly higher than the official minimum wage. These are often farmers who have migrated to the city searching for a life beyond a fragile subsistence.

Power, Matthew. "The Magic Mountain: Trickle-down economics in a Philippine garbage dump" Harper's Magazine, December 2006.

March 2, 2009

Payatas Dumpsite Project

A successful solid waste management project in the Philippines after the Payatas dumpsite collapse of July 2000. Funded and developed by SIDA and CONEXOR. Great information on this site about the project, providing direction and insight into how the project was developed including a nearly step-by-step guide.