Gone to waste: How India is drowning in garbage

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Recommended by: Hindustan times

Travelling from central Delhi towards Ghazipur in the city’s east, the first warning that you get of the approaching landfill is the sight of circling birds of prey. The mound of waste itself becomes visible much before one is assaulted by its stench. Smoke rises steadily from the pile, as the decomposing waste generates highly combustible methane gas.

None of this bothers 10-year-old Jeevan and 12-year-old Devender as they make their way to the top. For years, the two have spent much of their time at the Ghazipur landfill — picking, sorting and selling waste. Without the protection of gloves or masks, the boys, like most ragpickers working at dumping sites across India, are vulnerable to infections and illnesses. “Often we cut ourselves on bits of discarded glass or metal,”

 

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