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In Brazil and India, Turning Trash into a Resource

A woman carries a bag of recyclable trash as she works at a landfill in Brasilia, Brazil. Eraldo Peres/AP


As countries move up the development spectrum, they tend to produce more trash, and across the emerging world, governments are struggling to keep up. The result is serious environmental and health hazards that often reinforce pre-existing inequalities.



On this episode, we’ll hear about efforts to deal with waste in Brazil and India, two countries where rapid urbanization and industrialization has made trash a pressing problem. Zoe Sullivan reports on a favela in Rio de Janeiro that, in the face of official neglect, is taking trash matters into its own hands. And, we talk with Wilma Rodrigues, founder of Saahas Zero Waste, a Bangalore-based social enterprise that works toward a circular economy where all waste is converted into resources.