Calcutta in India has been described as the waste recycling capital
of the world. Coconut shells are soaked, pounded, ripped, and dried to
use in mattresses at homes for the destitute. Animal droppings are mixed
with burned coal cinders to make fuel balls for cooking. Farmers grow
vegetables in trash heaps. Less than 1% of glass, paper, or metal ever
makes it to the dump and most of that is reclaimed by thousands of women
and children who make a living by picking over the garbage.