Monday, August 27, 2012

Egypt's Garbage Crisis And Pigs

"Garbage in Cairo has traditionally been collected by the Zabbaleen, Coptic Christians who for decades made the city’s waste their livelihood. After sorting organic waste from glass and plastic, the trash collectors sold the recyclable goods to national and international companies. Pigs, once omnipresent in predominantly Christian neighborhoods, would eat the rest."

"When the animals were fat, they were sent to slaughterhouses that catered to hotels. In the spring of 2009, alarmed by the outbreak of swine flu in Mexico, Egyptian authorities ordered the immediate slaughter of all pigs in the country... The ban on trash-eating pigs removed a major method of disposal, sparking a crisis in the city of 19 million people. Trash cans are often overflowing and garbage is routinely left on sidewalks and empty lots, resulting in a nauseating smell and attracting rats and flies."

"But, compounding the problem, trash workers employed by companies with state contracts say their wages have been late or incomplete in recent months, as Egypt’s economy has been reeling from the 2011 revolt and its aftermath."

You can read more in The Washington Post HERE.

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