Portfolio: Stories: Payatas Dumpsite, Child Labor
In Quezon City just on the outskirts of Manila, Philippines there is a local landfill called Payatas. The Payatas dumpsite is the main terminal for the solid waste collected in the city.
About 10,000 families live and work there with children working alongside adults to scavenge through the refuge looking for anything that might yield them money on the recycled market. Normally the whole family is involved in the scavenging with different members of the family working in shifts. Education for the children is organized by the owners of the dump using a four-shift scheme to provide for all the children in the area.
Only a few minutes are allowed to scavenge a load from one truck before a bulldozer comes in to cover the load to make space for a the another truck to dump. Copper, tin and aluminum are the most common items they look for. An active scavenger can sell recyclables for around 150--300 pesos a day. For a family of five that means around 1,000 pesos a day which on today’s market equals about US$ 21.