Creating people's geographies
Garbage Dreams follows three teenage boys born into the trash trade in Mokattam, a suburb of Cairo that is home to an Egyptian Christian minority of 60 000. The zaballeen, or garbage collectors, here have traditionally been so and have served the city for the past 150 years. The documentary also offers an interesting look into how a community has supported itself by recycling, running one of the most efficient waste management systems in the world, achieving a recycle and reuse rate of between 80-90% of what they pick-up.
Yet for all their efficiency — they are paid but a nominal fee for their services — the livelihoods of the zaballeen are under threat as the Egyptian government seeks to outsource their waste management, replacing the home-grown zaballeen with European waste management companies.
Garbage Dreams film trailer [1:13]