Amid syringes and skin-burning acid, a search for scrap metal and cell phones

For trash pickers at Dandora, the dump is a necessary evil. Photo by Jason Patinkin

Hundreds of bent figures wade through a sea of trash. They pick their way across the smoldering landscape, stabbing at the garbage in front of them with bent metal rods. A flock of marabou storks flaps alongside, stalking for bones to snap up in their huge bills. In the distance, skyscrapers wobble in the rising heat waves.

The bent figures are the garbage pickers of Dandora, Nairobi’s main trash dump and one of Africa’s biggest. They make their living here by sifting through a society’s discards in hopes of finding anything to sell.  Read more…

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