The Recyclers


The Recyclers

I’m not sure about where you people live, but in the Davao area recycling has become a major business with mountains of recycled materials waiting to be picked up by all kinds of weird vehicles. People on bicycles and motor cycles go around collecting plastic, metal, bottles, cans, cardboard and paper. It’s made a substantial difference to the environmental disaster that is the Philippines. Compared to a few years ago when all the stuff they are collecting now littered the already littered surface of this country. Sadly the ground is still covered with all the colors of the rainbow plastic bags, junk food containers and cigarette buts to name a few of the trash nightmare that exists. Hopefully in the future they will follow in the path of the rest of the world by not giving you a plastic bag for the tiniest item, water in plastic containers and all those thousands of small items like shampoo and soap sold in 5gm portions. There is garbage collection system, but it is not frequent enough and most people just drop the trash anywhere or throw it in a pile for the chickens to scratch in.

Anyway as my title says, the re-cyclers have some ingenious ways to transport it and here are my photos showing some of them. Some of the motorcycles and bicycles are home made with lawnmower engines and the amount they carry is just incredible, especially the bicycles. Here they are!

mountain of metal

Mountain of metal.

The recyclers

Check out the fridge at the back.

The recyclers check out the engine

Its homemade and the engines from a lawn mower


How the hell does he drive it?

recycle bike3

This is a bicycle.


Where’s the driver?

recycle3 fridge on back for balance

Would you drive this?

A field next to a school is all plastic bags and junk food containers.

Sea of plastic bags

plastic bags by the thousands1000

Hundreds of bags

Published in Environment


  1. Profile gravatar of FHPS

    ive been to some towns and the area is a sea of plastic bags literring everywhere.
    Filipino’s abuse what god has provided. Thats all. Just no care.
    The only “lightbulb” moment goes off is
    but unfortunately they are not clean at all.
    Most areas will never get up off their knees and do something positive.
    They love to drown themselves in stories of hardship and missery
    and trashing what god has provided.
    Even as basic as taking their rubbish home instead of littering on the street …THEY CANNOT DO.

    1. Profile gravatar of Don Quixote
      Don Quixote

      I am writing a post about this so I will be brief,
      I go for a walk along the beach every morning after sun up, not before.
      I see all the resorts cleaning the beaches to below the water line of trash.
      everyday they pick up bags and bags of plastic that has all flushed out of the local river on the previous nights tide
      Now the reason I don’t walk too early is , the garbage is not the only thing that floats out on the tide .
      I give them time to bury the excrement , they dont pick that stuff up, and either they have giant dogs in Olongapo or they have fucking filthy people.

  2. Profile gravatar of

    We pay a woman 100p once a week to go through our garbage. As the garbage truck is unreliable, she is very helpful. If the truck breaks down for a couple of weeks, as it is prone to, she will take the lot and burn what she doesn’t want. Our city has banned plastic shopping bags, so our street is pretty clean all the time. Also, the maids clean out the front of each house each morning. At the back of the garbo truck they have recycling bags hanging up. They go through the rubbish and put recyclables in the appropriate bag.

  3. Profile gravatar of Idiotocracy

    One of the few things they do right is recycling. At our old shop on a major highway the help would sort out plastic bottles, glass, scrap metal from the shop (minuscule amounts), cardboard, and wood scraps after work time was done. Everything was sold except for the wood scraps and the neighbors would gladly grab that trash for cooking. The proceeds of selling the trash went to merienda the next day.

    1. Profile gravatar of Don Quixote
      Don Quixote

      You are dead right, they do it good. (I couldn’t say right twice ) , I have never looked down on a scavenger WORKING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      At least they haven’t got their hands out wiggling the fingers. you do what you have to do to live.
      I never looked down at bar girls for that reason I’m sure if they had a choice they would be elsewhere like the scavengers.
      IF I was over there they would be getting their XMAS too, I respect they are proud and working.

    1. Profile gravatar of Phil Doh
      Phil Doh

      Are you sure this is Davao, Joe? Because dabawenos keep telling the world about how their city is a first class, envy of the country, clean and beautiful city. This just looks like third world squalor.

        1. Profile gravatar of Phil Doh
          Phil Doh

          You do see the same images in davao too. Have you ever been to sun city near the airport? Worth a stop off to see how filipinos treat a place when left to their own devices, trash and broken glass everywhere. Pity about samal, could be beautiful with all those flowers naturally growing in most places and the beaches.

          1. Profile gravatar of Hey Joe
            Hey Joe

            I’m in Davao also. Never been to sun city, but I sure do hear the stories from others.
            That Samal is a shame how bad they screwed up that place. Water cartels, floating barges for power.

            Guess I should not talk, having these rotational 3-6hr blackouts for some time now… getting old fast. The genset and solar panels are getting a work out.
            Oh, ya… Davao is a world class city oh right. World class sh*t hole is more like it.

  4. Profile gravatar of Random Numbers
    Random Numbers

    Yeah, the stupid plastic shopping bag ban of Luzon – it has reached Cavite also. Now they give these tall, thin paper bags, over-pack them, then hand them off to you. I hope it isn’t raining outside – not even a light drizzle – if so, the bag will fall to pieces, in which case I hope that you are a world-class juggler!

  5. Profile gravatar of tambok
    tambok Post author

    Now Samal is just a place for the Davaoers to come and dump there garbage, thousand of them here with baon and noise, ferry always full, really bullshit.
    Can anyone in this website recommend a pristine place? Is there any left? Really fucked up here, crowds and noise and videoke bullshit

    1. Profile gravatar of

      I know its off thread but, this country has more typhoons than any other. It would therefore make sense that this civilisation ( I use that term loosely) should have invented colourbond roofing before the wheel. Strangely,  they just dont understand “fall” or that water can get in the smallest hole. Our roof is still leaking after so many attempts to fix it. After getting in the ceiling, avoiding all the live unterminated wiring, I found the leak in 1 minute. What is it with these morons?

  6. Profile gravatar of Phil Doh
    Phil Doh

    There is a few nice places Joe, but they’re so far away you have to deal with so much crap from pinoys just to get there you may as well stay home. I used to prefer talikud over samal, but since the kidnappings I wouldn’t take the risk of going to either again.

    Once knew a foreigner who used to live on samal and lived through a 3 week brown out. Places like that can really get thrown back to the dark ages. Living in a decent sub division in davao we had one hour of water a day for over the month. I called DWD and asked what’s the problem.

    Teleflip: For awhile, sir…………… Sir, we can confirm there are no reports of water disruptions in your area.
    Me: Well there is now.
    Teleflip: Sir..?
    Me: I’m reporting a disruption now.
    Teleflip: But sir we have nothing on our system which says their is a disruption to service.
    Me: Because nobody has reported anything up until now?
    Teleflip: Yes sir.

    Eventually I got a promise some engineers would be out, but of course nobody ever showed up.

    1. Profile gravatar of Sarah

      What did I tell you? In the Failippines, you’re on your own. Your phone breaks down, you’re on your own. Your internet breaks down, you’re on your own. The roof on your brand new condo/townhouse leaks, you’re on your own. You get sick, you’re on your own. etc, etc. It’s more fun in the Failippines!

  7. Profile gravatar of FilamboredinthePH

    I do my part. Since I ride a motorcycle I’m limited as it is to how many groceries I can buy at a time. You should see the look I get at my local grocers (I avoid robinsons’s market like the plague) when I fill a medium sized hiking pack with groceries and forego all plastic bags. I look around every single time I shop and I NEVER see anyone bringing reuseable bags or backpacks. It’s going to take time to raise awareness. I’m hoping I’ll be a leading example pioneer in my city.

  8. Profile gravatar of FilamboredinthePH

    But then I forget that everyone here has to be SO POSITIONAL and bagging their own groceries into a reuseable bag or backpack is so beneath them when there’s dodong right there ready to do it for you. Dodong himself looks so awkward standing there while I bag it myself (How else will my backpack be loaded properly?).

  9. Profile gravatar of Don Quixote
    Don Quixote

    When I first left school I used to pack groceries and deliver them after work. Helped me pay the bills as 19 year old apprentice wages were shit back then.
    So knowing how to pack things even to this day, MY FRUSTRATION boils up with the IMBOS who are paid professionals. Even now I can see things to go where whilst they try to position things two or five times. It is amazing thing to watch.
    We always try and get smallish boxes as we have no plastic, the boxes then can be packed with garbage and sealed against the monkeys Ive developed an instict for how monkeys hands work, they struggle to get my boxes open without tearing them of course, watching the little fucks try and undo woven duct tape that has set is fun.
    Never bored in the Philippines when you have monkeys

  10. Profile gravatar of Don Quixote
    Don Quixote

    I wrote a post recently about just that, they franchise the scams so they get commission off the one they told it too.
    Until it implodes like all good Ponzie schemes do.