Waste Economies

Trash pickers provide an enormous service to poor communities. They take the burden off more formal waste management systems by reducing the amount of trash and the need to transport it, and putting valuable materials back into use. Of course, it's also a dangerous job if you're unearthing sharp metals and biohazards and dodging heavy machinery. In many places, these individual trash collectors are forming cooperatives and even, in some cases, their own recycling centers.