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Over 30,000 people live in an abandoned quarry in the Muqattam Mountain area who toil as zabaleen -- garbage collectors. For more than five decades, city residents have relied on the zabaleen's economical door-to-door service, hauling away trash by small truck or donkey cart.

The zabaleen spend hours sorting glass, plastic, cardboard, paper, tin and torn clothes in their communities and sell it to local factories that wash, compress and resell the materials. The zabaleen collect about one-third of Cairo's trash -- 4,500 tons a day -- and recycle 85 percent of the trash they collect.

"They have created what is arguably one of the world's most efficient resource-recovery and waste-recycling systems," Wael Salah Fahmi, professor of architecture and urban design at Helwan University in Cairo, wrote in a 2005 study.

Father Sama'an over 10 years ago established a ministry to help the zabaleen. In March 2007, Triamer provided a donation to help Father Sama'an's work with the zabaleen and their families.
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