The Garbage City
Manshiyat Nasser, or as it is more popularly known, Garbage City,“ is a slum settlement with a population of around 60,000 on the outskirts of the Moqattam Hills, within Cairo’s sprawling metropolitan area.
The village is notable for having nearly every space of it covered in garbage, including the streets and rooftops of the settlement. These piles of garbage are the result of the Cairo Metropolitan Area having never established an efficient garbage collecting system, despite having a population of nearly 20 million.
The inhabitants of Manshiyat Nasser, mostly Coptic Christians, have filled this gap for the past 70 years. These informal garbage collectors, called the Zabbaleen or "Garbage people,“ collect the garbage of Cairo’s residents in a door-to-door service for a small fee and then transport it via donkey carts or pick-up trucks to their homes in Manshiyat Nasser. Once home, they sort the garbage for recyclable material. The collecting of the trash is traditionally the men’s work, while women and children sort the garbage.