Garbage searching in Iran and looking for food to eat has become one of the growing means of survival for a wide range of Iranian people.
The streets of Tehran are full of disturbing images of children who search through the garbage looking for anything they can eat. Users of Iranian cyberspace make and share photos and videos from many of these horrible scenes, images that are only a glimpse of the depth of the catastrophe that is happening in Iran.
The latest example is the image of a man who died on October 21 near the trash bins due to the use of rotten materials from the garbage.
The state-run news agency Tasnim describes the multiplicity and the spread of this social catastrophe: “There is no uptown and downtown; anywhere you look you see an adolescent or a youngster who has a large white sack in his hand and goes up to his waist to remove dry garbage from the city’s garbage tanks.”
The IRNA website writes in this regard: “Due to the unfair distribution of resources, as well as the spread of poverty and addiction, we are faced with the phenomenon of garbage searching as a new social harm; unemployment, poverty, government failure, and addiction are among the main sources of garbage searching.”
In Tehran, 9,000 tons of waste is produced daily, the municipality spends about $58 million a day to collect these wastes from the city…… In this profitable business, nothing is more valuable than the cheap worker who works in the toughest conditions and is not willing to complain. And contractors prefer to keep garbage searching kids as workers at all costs. Children who work replace more than two adult workers with a total salary of $215 per month and receive only $20. The economy of waste, or the economy of waste management, is the economy of several thousand million dollars.
According to one of the regime authorities, the municipality can earn $29 million annually from this waste. Meanwhile, the mafia of garbage continues to remain profitable in the silence of the clerical regime and the media. The victims of this government mafia are children who, from the age of six, feel the pain and suffering from the rule of this anti-human regime.
The use of garbage searching kids by the profitable municipal mafias
A remarkablepart of this phenomenon is the growing use of children and young people in thecollection of garbage. Someof them are forced to do this independently to support the livelihoods of theirfamily, and another group, according to the regime’s media confessions, is theformation of a dirty profligate mafia that exploits child laborers and socialvictims as garbage searchers in order to fill their bags even more with wasteincineration and recycling.
The state-run news agency Tasnim wrote in this regard: “The lack of precise monitoring, and licensing of garbage collection to contractors who use deprived children who have to work for bread. has caused the formation of authorized and unauthorized recycling centers on the border of southern regions of Tehran and in centers such as Mahmud Abad and similar places, a number of our compatriots and foreigners work and live in the worst conditions in the middle of a mountain of garbage.”
These life and work conditions that are caused are exacerbated by extreme poverty, bribery and blackmail of the municipal employees and authorities. A 9-year-old child laborer, who collects waste for 20 hours to have a minimum income by the end of the month, sometimes is forced to give half of his small income to municipal officials.
The IRNA website states wrote: “Garbage searching children are working at official and unofficial centers. Among the diseases that these children are exposed to are typhoid, AIDS, hepatitis, intestinal parasites and they also suffer from knees and back pain, none of which are treated because of the lack of insurance coverage for these children.”
Garbage searching by women
The spread of poverty has also caused many women to get into garbage searching in order to meet the minimum needs of themselves or their families, and this phenomenon is increasing in mega cities and cities.
These women, due to the lack of employment and the fact that they are generally involved with addiction and issues of the kind, do not have any financial backing and they provide part of their needs through garbage searching.
In this regard, the IRNA website writes: “Women, in cooperation with unofficial centers, go to the collection or disposal sites, in order to be able to cover their living expenses by collecting recycled garbage and selling them.”
These days many pictures and videos of the presence of garbage searching women in various cities of Iran are shared by Iranian users in cyberspace, which indicates the increase in this social disaster and the general hatred of the perpetrators of this situation.