HAITI: WASTE IN TIME
In a 200-acre-plus dump 5 kilometers north of Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, hundreds of men, women and children scavenge day and night through the burning wasteland. They earn $12 to $15 a day — on a good day — for recycling plastics as well as clothing, household items and aluminum (for smelting). Some 5,000 tons of waste is created each day in the Port-au-Prince area.
'Waste In Time' represents Haiti's desperate struggle to lift itself from the depths of misery and corruption that has run rampant in Haiti for decades.
The vast landfill is owned by the government and situated directly above the Plain Cul-De-Sac aquifer - the same water that provides drinking water for the poorest neighborhoods of Port-Au-Prince. After the devastating earthquake in 2010, which killed over 230,000 people in the Port-Au-Prince area, millions more tons of rubble was dumped at the site further condemning the land and quickly polluting any remaining clean water in the shallow aquifer.
It took just ten years, or one solitary decade, to destroy the reservoir and all surrounding land. Now rural communities nearby now struggle to find water.
What was, up until 2010, a source of clean water and fresh coastal breeze, has now been transformed into a toxic, burning, stinking, wasteland.
Photographing this area is a challenge. Many of the dwellers have fled the city and gang affiliations and do not want to be seen. As the Haitian National Police rarely visit here, it has become a safe haven for some of Port-au-Prince’s more shady characters.