Tunisia: rosier future for garbage rummagers

8,000 'barbech' look for things to recycle from waste

06 March, 19:38

    Garbage rummagers produce about 60% of recycled waste in Tunisia Garbage rummagers produce about 60% of recycled waste in Tunisia

    (ANSAmed) - TUNIS - It is still possible in Tunisia to see people rummage through garbage in various cities, looking for recyclable waste, plastic and metal they can sell. They are called 'barbech' (or 'those who rummage'), the modern version of roubavikia, or junk dealers, are estimated to be around 8,000.

    Their 'work' consists in going door to door to gather recyclable material and used objects that still hold some value.

    It is obviously a very difficult job but the two local administrations of Etthadhamen (Tunis)and Marsa - together with the German cooperation agency Giz and the association of recycling experts of urban solid waste in Maghreb and Mashreq 5Sweep-Net - are part of a pilot project on structural integration of municipal waste management in Tunisia that has led to the creation of the Association des Barbechas d'Ettadhamen Mnihla and that of Marsa. Seminars on social security have been scheduled, along with the activation of micro credit and antitetanic injections, and awareness campaigns.

    Recently, a promotion day in the Ettadhamen district of Tunis enabled citizens to get acquainted with the difficult conditions of this job and to throw away waste in a smart way so it can be reused. Experts from Sweep-Net noted that 60% of waste recycling occurs in Tunisia thanks to the barbech. (ANSAmed)

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