Coveting waste

  • Lima, Peru, March 2015, photo Mélanie Rateau

In Lima, waste collection trucks travel the streets blowing their horns so that the residents can bring out their garbage bags. The collection process is hence very slow. It is slowed down even further by the agents who open the bags to recover anything recyclable, which they then sell to a wholesaler. This recycling is illegal as it creates competition for the recyclers who are protected by the “Recyclers Law” of October 2009.
This photo was taken at dusk in one of Lima’s popular neighbourhoods, with a simple mobile phone, after several hours spent waiting with an informal waste recycler.

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