(above: Shaheen is sorting plastic and tin garbage)
(above: Shukur sitting in his shop in Rally Bagan)
On the other edge of Rally Bagan, next to the entrance, another kind of recycling business is going on. In front of his small shop, Shaheen and his older brother, Shukur, are sorting solid waste from garbage bags they bought from slum residents. Piece by piece, they separate mainly plastic from tin items. After sorting, they sell it to a bigger dealer, usually making about 10 Taka per kg. They earn 300 Taka per day, on lucky days even 600. However, in the last couple of months the price of recyclable materials, especially tin, is declining. The dealer now pays only 12 to 15 Taka per kg to Shukur instead of the 35 Taka he used to offer. This loss is then passed on to the slum residents they buy from. Shukur is well informed about world affairs and can easily explain the reason for the decline in prices: “I think it is somehow connected to the world market crisis that is going on”, he tells.
(above: Jahanara is pumping water out of the improved tube well)
On the way from Mojiton to the Shaheen and Shukur, yet another tube well attracted my attention. The neck of a plastic bottle is affixed on the tap. This innovation was created by Jahanara (see photo above), who happens to be around when I ask community members who came up with this idea. “Before water from the tap splashed randomly and we could not fill buckets and pots properly”, she says. The plastic bottle funnel was added only one month ago. I wonder why had nobody come up with this idea before.