Haiti is again digging out from a disaster, which has postponed national elections. Hurricane Matthew caused massive flooding this week in the southwest part of the country, prompting Mourad Wahba, the United Nations' representative in Haiti, to say that the destruction was the "largest humanitarian event" since the country's devastating 2010 earthquake.
For almost 40 years, the United States has had some of the strongest regulations in the world for managing waste storage and disposal, but people are still affected by and dealing with consequences of past actions. In the case of radioactive waste from nuclear weapons development and nuclear power plants, the problems are ongoing.
The only nonprofit redemption center in New York City, Sure We Can, is an economic lifeline for more than 400 canners. They can cash in what they've gathered — in small amounts or bulk — for the state-mandated 5 cents per piece, or they can earn a bit more by counting and sorting. The organization, co-founded in 2007 by Sr. Martinez de Luco and Eugene Gadsden, has become a community and has plans to acquire its own property and become economically sustainable.
The third part of our series about trash management, landfills and the involvement of sisters: It is mostly women who eke out a living by sorting and reselling scrap materials from India's streets and landfills. The Jan Vikas Society labors among 10,000 people living in 35 of the 559 officially recognized shantytowns of Indore and was started by Divine Word Fr. George Payattikattu in 2001. He later included women religious in the work to elevate the waste pickers' confidence, skills and literacy, which has resulted in higher earnings and other improvements.
The second in our series of reports about trash management, landfills and the involvement of sisters: The Guatemala City garbage dump is the largest landfill in Central America. More than a third of the country's trash goes there. The scavengers take out and recycle a million pounds a day and in the process expose themselves toxic fumes and hazardous materials. The sisters who teach at the Francisco Coll School know all too well the difficulties their students confront daily.
The first of a new series of reports about trash management, landfills and the involvement of sisters: Old Fadama is internationally famous for being the site of the Agbogbloshie electronic waste "dump," where people spend their days breaking apart the world's e-waste and burning the parts down to salvageable metals. The residents here don't want pity; they support themselves off what the world discards, and some are accessing education to move on.
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