Garbage Dreams

Garbage Dreams in a non-fictional film about a group of Christians called the Zabbaleen who live in Mokattam also known as Garbage City. The Zabbaleen have devoted their lives to garbage and recycling, and collect rubbish for free from the outside areas. They recycle 80% of the rubbish they collect and that is how they make money. Within the community there are recycling schools, teaching the younger generation all they need to know about recycling.  

It is a film based around 4 people: Adham, Nabil, Osama who are all garbage workers and Laila, who is a community worker amongst the Zaballeen.

The Zaballeen were considered to be very sustainable to Cairo’s waste problems, they collected all the rubbish for free, sorted it and then recycled everything that they could leaving the remaining 20% that they could not recycle. They are a lot more sustainable than the other garbage disposal companies.

The Zabbaleen people faced a number of problems, mainly that Cairo employed foreign companies to collect rubbish and dispose of it in landfill sites. This will destroy their whole community because they live for garbage, without rubbish there isn’t anything else they can do as they do not have the life skills. The foreign companies only recycle 20% of the waste which is nothing compared to the 80% that they use ro recycle; with the rest of the rubbish going into landfill sites. Working with rubbish also creates a great deal of health problems amongst the Zabbaleen people.

When the foreign companies took over they had to find other ways to make money, but as their only knowledge was with recycling and garbage, this proved to be very difficult. Some people were lucky, such as Osama and found jobs by working for the new garbage vans, but there wasn’t enough jobs to go round.

I think the message of this film is that we need to think about what we do with our rubbish and what we actually recycle. Those people recycle a lot more than we do and they do it for free!


Urbanisation is the physical growth of urban areas as a result of global change. Urbanisation deals mostly with rural communities that gradually move toward a developing city due to global change. This process has been happening for centuries as people moved away from country areas to the cities where there are more jobs, better schools, and better medical care available.

People involved in urbanisation are most likely to be poor people or people that live in run down areas or in the country where they are far away from the ccities.

Urbanisation happens because people want a better lifestyle and think if they move into a city or larger populated area they are likely to get better jobs, living conditions, better healthcare etc.

People started moving to the cities in the UK in the mid-ninteenth century, during the industrial revolution.


Urbanisation is happening quicker in the poorer countries because they have to catch up with the richer cities for example Mexico is a poor country and there is a lot of people living in poverty, but london is a rich country because it has lots of modern technology, better housing, and more money. So the poor countries are devoloping faster because they need to keep up with countries like London.