Whose interest does it serve to make citizens live on garbage points?
Since 1990, many people increasingly started relying on surviving by collecting garbage due to unemployment. There is a whole army of people who live on collecting garbage. There are 2 major points for garbage thrown in Ulaanbaatar. These points are located in the west and east. The government does not reclassify and recycle garbage at these points. However, this becomes a source of livelihood for these citizens, especially children and women. About 30-40 trucks of garbage are dumped at these points on a daily basis and people living on and off the points pick plastic bottles and sell them, find clothes and food off the garbage coming their way. They work and live on the garbage together with their children.
Two organizations which studied the situations of citizens on the garbage points found out that there are over 200 citizens sustaining their livelihoods on the Tsagaan Davaa garbage point located in the east of the city. The study on these people discovered that 67% of 94 individuals were women. Also 42.6 % are extremely poor, 42.9% are homeless, 39.4 % do not visit family hospitals, and 46.8 % have not been to medical examinations in the past 3 years. 47.9 % of these citizens do not live in the registered addresses. 28.7 % do not have official documents, making them unable to enjoy public services. Each year millions of tugrugs are spent to dispose of and classify garbage. In reality, does this money go to the planned actions? Or do the city authorities pretend that they did it whereas it was those who live on the garbage doing all the reclassification and recycling? The project team will work on these questions next.