When a mountain of trash collapsed
At the fetid Reppi dump outside of Addis Ababa on Monday, at least 82 people died. It could've been worse: Hundreds of people live atop Reppi, Ethiopia's biggest waste dump, trying to make a living from salvaging what city residents throw away. Despite well-known dangers, and the best efforts of the government, they've done so for decades.
And that's not so unusual. In the developing world, open dumps are the most common way to dispose of the rising tides of waste that accompany economic growth. Some are small. Some, like Reppi, are vast, rolling landscapes of trash, home to recycling businesses, ad-hoc housing, children, livestock and swirling clouds of dust, plastic bags and opportunistic birds.