From the informal to the formal: towards a factory

At Manchiat Nasser, 60 000 waste collectors live off their work with waste: after a door-to-door collection, the residents’ garbage is brought to the neighbourhood and sorted by the women, girls and children. The organic matter serves as pig feed, the other materials—paper, cardboard, fabric, plastics and metals—are recycled in workshops or sold on to wholesalers and formal sector factories. The zabbbâlîn (from the word zabbâl, waste) are mainly Coptic Christians, and are highly integrated into the economic sector and secondary raw material commercial circuits, but they remain on the fringes of the city and society. Here the men load sacks weighing about a hundred kilos onto a truck ready to leave for the recycling factory.

View full screen