Rio de Janeiro's last wasteland The National Solid Waste Policy, enacted in 2010, determines that landfill sites can not longer exist in Brazil since August 2, 2014. The municipalities were required thereafter to perform a variety of environmentally responsible actions such as recycling, reuse, composting, treatment and selective collection of materials discarded by the cities. Failure to comply could mean fines up to 50 million. The classification of landfills to the new regulations, also represents a recycling process in the lives of scavengers. I spent eight months in the dump of Gericinó (from September 2013 until the official extinction, on April 4, 2014) in order to portray the dignity of the last oficially existing savengers, "treasure hunters" who were struggling to survive and never lost their hope to find a little fortune. I do not want to repeat the depressive stereotype or romantisize the misery, but I really met strong, energetic and yes, happy and proud people. This series is part of the project "Distant Neighbors" which covers various socio-cultural aspects of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, the BRICS.


P.S. Even though the garbage dumps and the savengers are"officially" extincted, independent environmental organisations estimate that are around 2000 landfill and an unknow number of savengers still exist in Brazil.