A young Zaballeen boy looks out over the Cairo skyline. Text reads: On the outskirts of Cairo, residents of the world's largest garbage village collect 4,000 tons of trash per day, recycling nearly all of it. 

But when multinational waste collection corporations threaten the community's survival, two teenage boys born into the trash trade are forced to make difficult choices about their futures. 
Below images: A young Zaballeen boy in a red hoodie sweatshirt smiles wryly at the camera.  A cartoon image depicting a goat feeding at a trough labeled ‘organic’ and a pile of mixed garbage awaiting sorting.  The filmmaker, with headphones on, looks down into her camera’s viewfinder.
The Making Of

"I decided to give the boys at the Recycling School a small, one-chip video camera so they could film themselves. I was hoping that this would also provide the boys a sense of ownership, so that in some way, they were the authors of their own stories."

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Trash to Trade: The GARBAGE DREAMS Game

Goats, trucks, and territories; organics, paper, and tin. Learn how the Zaballeen turn trash into cash. Play the recycling game.

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The Filmmaker

"It was gratifying to witness these teenage boys growing up and becoming young men.... They always reminded me why I cared about this issue in the first place — because of the people I met along the way."

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