Arab Spring in Egypt Brings ‘Pivotal Moment’ for Garbage Collectors

August 5, 2011

1994 Goldman Prize winner Laila Iskandar and her Cairo-based NGO, the Spirit of Youth Association (SYA), saw an opportunity in Egypt’s recent political uprising to raise awareness about the importance of proper waste management.

They set up shop in the now infamous Tahrir Square, installing a total of 50 containers on each corner of the Square, to facilitate the separation of organic from non-organic waste. Youth volunteers stood near each waste receptacle to explain how to properly sort trash.

Trucks then transport the trash collected from the containers, taking organic waste to composting centers and the rest to sorting and processing stations for recycling.

Iskandar has called this a “pivotal moment” for garbage collectors. “During the 18 days of the revolution, the multinationals in charge of collecting garbage stopped their activity, while local garbage collectors continued to pick up garbage door to door and transport it to Manshiyet Nasr,” she said.

Click here to read more about their efforts.