Like most other things Philippine, Metro Manila’s garbage dumpsite problem should be treated as comedy. But we can’t because they are fraught with tragic consequences and memories of actual tragedies.With a population of about 12 million, the largest urban center of the country is Metro Manila. In recent years four dumpsites—Smokey Mountain, Carmona, Payatas and San Mateo—served the metropolis (some say megalopolis) until they closed down one by one.
The first dumpsite that became famous worldwide is Smokey Mountain. Before the area was turned into a housing estate for the poor, the TV stations of the planet served up images of poverty in the Philippines from Tondo—with scavengers gathering what they could make money out of from the mixture of household and toxic hospital and industrial garbage.