Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Salvage Economy

Less than 5km (two miles) from central Nairobi lie the smouldering mountains of rubbish thrown away by the residents and businesses of the Kenyan capital. Dandora is one of Africa's largest dumping and scavenging grounds. Every day thousands of slum dwellers try to eke out a living. This man took nearly three hours to fill his last bag of the day - and he hopes to sell the contents, which are mostly scraps of rubber, for $0.50 (£0.30). People rummage through the filth, sorting into large sacks the materials that cannot be eaten - but can be sold for recycling. Metals, rubber, milk bags, plastics, meat bones, and electronics are some of the most sought-after recyclables. The Nairobi city council does not officially condone this informal system of recycling, which helps to manage the dump. 

In pictures: Life on Kenya's Dandora dump near Nairobi (BBC)

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