In landfills that do not cover their waste, biological decomposition creates substantial heat causing the materials to spontaneously combust.
The constant plumes of smoke make breathing difficult, for the roughly 300 people who work & live here.
"Pickers" eek out a living at the Koshe Landfill site. Each picker specializes in metal, foam or PVC pipe that they'll later resell. Most make less than $1 per day, having few other options for work.
Tesfaye Belayne, 80 years old, was a soldier for the Ethiopian dictator Mengistu. After the leader fled the country on charges of genocide, the army went without work.
Tesfaye ended up here, making roughly 10 Birr a day (less than 50 cents usd) collecting foam, which allows him to purchase a single meal each day. Pictured here in his home, made inside of an upside down garbage dumpster.
One of many makeshift homes
Western countries often sell E-waste to Africa, China & India.
In landfills that don't cover their waste, biological decomposition creates substantial heat causing rubbish to spontaneously combust.
Roughly 40% of the pickers are women, with most foraging for metals, which requires a more meticulous hand. The women sift through piles of burning rubbish for tiny pieces of metal that they'll later sell for less than $1 usd
In landfills that don't cover their waste, biological decomposition creates substantial heat which causes material in the landfills to spontaneously combust. There are constant plumes of smoke which make breathing difficult for its residents
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
A female picker searches for pieces of wood to sell. She carries her bounty on a makeshift board , strapped to her back
Refuse can be seen floating about the landfill site , along with smoke from the constantly burning fires