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When we first arrived it appeared that very little organised recycling of rubbish took place. Our rubbish is collected every morning from outside our flat, indeed if we don't put any out the workman rings our door bell just to check we haven't forgotten. With the high temperatures in the summer it is definitely a very useful service. It was strange not to set aside certain items, as we do at home, for recycling. What happened to the rubbish after that was not very obvious to start with but I have now spotted that the workmen fill a large bag with rubbish and cycle off with it on the back of their three wheeler cart.
It the city on main road I have often spotted brick buildings that look a bit like a open ended garage, which seems o be the place for the local to leave their household rubbish. It is then collected once or twice a day, according to sign on the outside and taken to landfill sites. You often see the street dogs and roaming cattle nosing about round them for morsels.
They are also some recycling deposit points around the city as well. Much of the recycling that does happen takes place by rag pickers combing dumps and street bins etc. They can sell the materials they find for a few rupees to keep them going. It is of course not a very hygienic or safe way of earning living and many of them are children. The residence has now linked up with a charity called Chintan whose work includes supporting and enabling waste pickers to become better informed and enable children to gain schooling. Many such children do not go to school as their first priority is to earn enough for food. (Their web site shows more photographs and details of their work www.chintan-india.org)
Two young lads have been cycling from Nizamuddin in south east Delhi to Laburnum (about 15 miles), once a month, to collect recyclable waste from the residents. They are using the money they earn for to improve their schooling and to save money to be able to buy cycle rickshaws as an better method of earning a living. It is also a much healthier means of collecting waste for them, the waste is clean and they are not likely to catch any infections which is a risk at dumps. Given the number of residents here though it still looks like the idea of recycling in this way has not quite caught on as there does not seem to be that much left at the collection point for them. However it seems to be increasing gradually as they are now going to come twice a month.
The two photographs below show the lads collecting one batch of waste, including many of the boxes that my cargo was packed in when it came over from Britain. An earlier batch of boxes, that I had left outside the flat, before the lads were coming for recycling, were taken by a maid who asked for them, probably also to earn a few more rupees.
Starting to load up, observed by one of the security guards. It took them quite a while to work out how to fit everything on.
With it fully loaded up it was going to be a long walk back for them.
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