Africa’s solid waste is growing, posing a climate threat


No one would envy a life of scavenging in Kenya’s biggest landfill, but Daniel Kiarie says he would never leave it.

Birds circle overhead and dogs scuffle as the 35-year-old moves through the filth of Nairobi, intent on useful finds. Ground-up garbage, from used hospital needles to battered toys, crunches under his feet. Thirty pungent acres stretch out before him at the center of the city’s poorest slums.

“This is like any other job,” Kiarie said. “I would not leave it for a cozy office.” In blue overalls, he oversees a hill of plastics he has salvaged to sell to recycling companies. “And I am not mad.”

As the world meets again to tackle the growing threat of climate change, Africa expects to suffer the most from rising temperatures. And it is least equipped to fight back.

How the…

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