The manangalahig is a scavenger, sorting through trash for recyclables which can be exchanged for a few rupees. The conditions and minimal payback may seem futile but the few rupees they do earn is far more than they would be making farming as they had in the past. And when metro Manila produces on average 6,169 tons of garbage daily you know there is plenty of trash to go arround. Multiply that mass by 364.25 days in a year, and again by 20 years and you can begin to understand how this 130 foot high, 50 acre, 45,000,000 ton mountain grows.The Payatas dump site was home to a tradgic event in the year 2000. Monsoon rains permiated the garbage mountain, which had been piled at a 70º slope, and caused the pile to slide killing hundreds of mangangalahig and their families living at the base of the heap. Exact numbers on the casualties will never be known for sure as the recovery effort was forced to stop days later, when hope had been lost.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
The Magic Mountain
I happened on a great article the other day by author Matthew Power, titled "The magic mountain: Trickle-down economics in a Philippine garbage dump". He effectively paints a picture of a day in the life of a mangangalahig at the Payatas dump site in Quezon City, Manila.
Posted by Fig Fighter at 1:06 AM