Funny what turns up when you start writing about Indian landfills.

Last week, NPR did a feature on rag pickers in India’s capital, New Delhi. Rag pickers, the story said, have “one of the world’s nastiest jobs.” They pick through trash, pull out recyclables and sell it to dealers. The rag picker NPR profiled made a little more than $3 a day.

There’s a movement to replace rag pickers with more formal solid waste managers. One company involved is Ramky Group, the company that bid on the two landfills in Mumbai in a strange deal with the city of San Diego.

The story quotes a Ramky Group director saying rag picking should be phased out for jobs with greater safety and cleanliness.

But some rag pickers aren’t happy.

There is no work there in the farms. I want to do something for my child and now that is why I’ve come here to Delhi to earn livelihood. If they — the private companies come here, we lose our livelihood.

Thanks to Center on Policy Initiatives research director Murtaza Baxamusa for passing along this story on Twitter.

— LIAM DILLON

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