As a child growing up in Lagos, Nigeria, in the late 1990s, I remember women roaming through my community and chanting in Yoruba, “onigo de o! Anra bata rubber ati ayo t’on jo.” This translates as “The bottle peddler is here! We buy rubber sandals and leaky (aluminum) pots.” Some families would separate their waste, because they could give some of it to these women for cash.
The end of the 20th century was rich in wars, military conflicts, territorial shifts, and revolutions. The world at the beginning of the 21st century no longer looks as integral and stable as it seemed 30-40 years ago.