Recycling In Egypt

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During the 19th century Industrial Revolution, several key innovations were made in both the technology and science fields. Even with these advancements, many cities were still pressed with an important issue: the disposal of waste. Cities often tossed non degradable waste from factories and homes directly into streets and rivers. This made for unsanitary living conditions and eventually led to diseases spreading rapidly. For a big city like Cairo, this issue persisted well after the industrialization period. Recycling was slowly turning into an issue that needed to be addressed, as waste was present in virtually every part of the city. Although Egypt’s population is predominantly Muslim, it was ultimately a group of Christians known as the Zabaleen that helped put an end to the issue of waste management in Cairo. Despite their differences in religious ideologies, the Zabaleen helped the city by collecting trash from door to door and recycling everything that they could. Even though the government did not support this system, the Zabaleen continued to work in the best interest of their community. Together, the Zabaleen and the citizens of Cairo have worked together to create what is recognized today as one of the world’s most effective waste management systems.
The Zabaleen were originally a group of Coptic Christian migrants that settled in Cairo during the late 1930’s. With no experience in waste collection at the time, they sold pork to tourist establishments (Hessler 2).

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