Friday, May 2, 2014

True Tales: Trash Collectors

From the title of today's post, you may be thinking, "What in the world?" True Tales is a feature about people who show courage, gumption...trash collectors? I totally wouldn't have made the connection either until I watched the TED talk above. It's fascinating. I really had never thought about how vital trash collectors are and how damaging the stigma against them can be.

It's even more intriguing to me, living in a country that is half developed/half developing, where a large majority of women make a (meager) living out of cleaning other peoples' homes. Something that is often looked down upon in the US is a very normal and common job here. We have a woman who comes to our house once a week to clean, do laundry, etc. 

I also see many men, often collecting trash and recyclables in carts, to turn in at recycling centres in return for some change; not as a service to the environment, but as their form of income. The poor here can often be seen begging for food, digging through trash cans, and happily accepting your dinner leftovers. In the US (and I'm sure there are other countries, as well), where those are things we often look down upon. No one aspires to collect trash. But when so many people make a living out of it - why? Why are does it make our heads turn or stomachs turn? 

So, today's persons of gumption are the trash collectors; the ones who work humbly and quietly collect the things that help keep our lives sane and clean. Thanks, guys!

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