The developed recycling center in Kattamia also
includes a cultural center for workers who want to “learn and
earn” so that they could benefit developmentally as well as
economically. While APE’s primary goal has been the improvement of the lives
and the livelihoods of the garbage collecting community, the
approach that it took encompassed far more than just practical help
and resulted in something that is often missing once outside help
leaves – sustainability.
In acting as an intermediary between the Zabbaleen and critical resources in the public sector, APE volunteers became emotionally and physically invested in the Zabbaleen communities. That investment, which underscored human development as APE's main objective, advanced the goal for long-term sustainability by providing the communities it served with the communication and leadership skills they needed for personal development (Ford KC, 2003). In addition, this emotional and physical involvement helped APE to successfully alter the mindset of the Zabbaleen when it later became necessary for them to be separated from their garbage collection activities.
Sewing and Clothes Production Unit
This program started its
activities in March 2002 as an income-generating
project for young women to help them to learn a
skill and acquire an alternative source of income.
The project aims at improving the livelihood of
young women and to help them integrate into the
Organic Composting Unit
The composting plant at APE began
with recycling organic pig manure into high grade
compost, which in turn was sold to re-claimers of
desert lands and agriculturists. This project
allowed the residents of the neighborhood to clean
out their pig sites on a regular basis and not let
such unhealthy waste pile up in their homes, thus
reducing the health hazards to the household. The
income earned from the sale of the compost was
directed to a community-based health project, an
income-generating project (Rug recycling for girls
and women) and literacy classes, as well as field
trips and recreation.
The regular disposal of animal waste from residents' homes makes their dwellings cleaner places. In 1991, the number of homes cleaned out by APE was 26. In 1993, 256 homes participated in that scheme. If the association were not to engage in this activity, residents of the Mokattam garbage settlement would either postpone cleaning out their animal pens until the environment became hazardous to human health, or enlist the services of a private contractor who charges exploitative rates for the service of cleaning out organic manure and transporting it outside the settlement. Since the crude compost contains harmful bacteria to the land, APE carries out farmer education outreach to inform garbage collectors about the hazards of using crude organic waste.
Recycling Machinery Production and Training Unit
A centre for training and
the production of recycling machines was established in
1998 to provide opportunities and employment for
unemployed and marginalized youth. The centre
designs and produces machines for recycling
solid waste, and provides many employment