January 29, 2004
Do you hate your job?
Are you sick and tired of getting up every god-damn day, eating the same lousy breakfast and going to the same old god-damn boring, stressful job? Have you had it up to HERE?
Come spend a few minutes with the scavengers at Inayawan... then consider... do you really have it so bad?
I visited this dumpsite before, twice back in 2001. I wanted to return again this year (2004), to see if there were any changes since that time.
Entrance to the Cebu City Sanitary Landfill at Barangay Inayawan, Cebu City.
Garbage, lots of it.
When we arrived, the scavengers were just hanging out.
After awhile, a garbage truck arrived and the scavengers calmly lined up to await dumping.
Once the truck pulled away, they sprung into action with hand-held digging hooks.
The scavengers quicky sort through the disgorged garbage, seeking usable items to sell to a nearby recycling center. The work is hot, dirty and dangerous. Most wear rubber boots to protect their feet from sharp objects hiding in the smelly piles, and long-sleeved shirts and hats to protect from the burning sun.
Scavenger's gold: good quality used plastic containers can be sold to the recyclers for 10 pesos a kilogram.
A 12-hour day's work can bring 80 to 200 pesos (55 pesos to $1 US.)
Every dump needs a bulldozer to push the garbage around.
Medical waste: vials of blood. Watch where you step.
Dumpsite canteen: meals served onsite for those with cash. No extra charge for flies.
Me and Ernst Leuthner, my companion for the visit.