Interesting facts about the city of scavengers

Manshiyat Nasir, also known as the City of the Scavengers, is a Christian Coptic quarter on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt, whose population collects garbage throughout the city for its subsequent recycling and disposal. This quarter is home to about 40, 000 people who are singled out in Egypt into a special social group - Zabbalins or garbage collectors.

The district emerged in 1969 when the Cairo city government ordered all garbage collectors to be concentrated in one place near the Mokattam (Arabic: Al-Mokattam) hills on the eastern outskirts of the Saladin Citadel, Cairo's Citadel.

Garbage collection, sorting and recycling is a family business and generates a relatively good income by local standards for those who work in it. Homeowners pay a certain fee to the collectors to remove the garbage from their territory. The state does not regulate this activity in any way, but it does not prevent it either.

A typical house in a block has several floors: the ground floor has large facilities for sorting and packing waste, the upper floors are residential. On the roofs of many houses, bales and packages of sorted and ready-to-export recyclable materials are stored. Some houses have metal platforms for incineration of non-recyclable waste.

Food waste is used as feed for pigs, which is why Muslims consider such activities "unclean" for themselves.

This archaic system, nevertheless, is recognized as one of the most effective in the world - the Zabbalins recycle up to 85% of the collected garbage. The specific activity of the bulk of the quarter's population generates a persistent unpleasant odor that hovers everywhere. Open-air incineration of some of the waste also contributes to air pollution in Cairo, which is considered one of the worst in the world by this parameter. However, this state of affairs is a forced compromise in the conditions of this huge metropolis, since even such a primitive, according to modern concepts, manual disposal allows you to keep the city clean, which is very important in a hot climate.