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Recycling in SE Asia and the West


I have thought more about trash and recycling since I have been in SE Asia than I did when I was in the west.

In California, if I was throwing out something good, I would put it on top of the trash bin so someone else could have it. This type of trash picking is frowned upon in the developed world, but people still do it.

Here in SE Asia, in all the places I have noticed it, going through the trash is very common and accepted. People have this as their job, have routes for it, or work in recycling centers.

In my Kuala Lumpur condo, there is a trash place where workers go through everything thrown out by hand. They sort it and recycle what they can. So I can throw anything in my bins and know it will be properly taken care of.

In Bangkok, people came to our trash bins all they time and went through it in the night. They would walk up and down the street and go through people's trash left out on the curb. Some only took certain kinds of trash and left the rest for others to have.


In Northern Thailand, the resort owner where I stayed had a place outside the gate for anything he thought was worth it to someone. No matter what he put out there, it would be gone in a few days. Once I watched him leave a torn tarpaulin from some of his construction. Later I saw someone on a motorcycle look very happy to get it.


The top photo is from my alley in California, the second is in Bangkok, and the third is in Northern Thailand. All were taken with cheap point and shoot cameras I had at the time.

My post today is for the daily freewrite by @mariannewest where today's prompt is "recycle." Let's here what you have to say on this topic too :)

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