About Zaballeen

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Title Zaballeen
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The Zabbaleen (Egyptian Arabic: زبالين "garbage people") are an Egyptian community of mainly Coptic Christians who were allowed to collect and dispose of the city of Cairo's waste by feeding it to their pigs. This occupation, the only one available to them, has been limited to inorganic material by the state-ordered culling of all pigs in Cairo. No one knows how the thousands of tons of organic waste generated each day will be disposed now that the pigs have been exterminated. The Zabbaleen generally performed this service very cheaply or for free, making a living by sorting the waste materials for reuse or recycling. Waste food is fed to livestock (most often pigs) or poultry. Other materials, such as steel, glass and plastic bottles, are sorted by hand and sold as raw materials. Other items are repaired or reused. Some material is burnt as fuel. Traditionally, donkey driven carts are used by males to collect waste from homes, which is sorted by female members of the family in...
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