Ana Batrićević – Workday at Vinča landfill

 

Belgrade landfill Vinča exists since 1977. With its surface exceeding 70 ha, it is the largest waste landfill in this region. The waste from almost all city municipalities. Although it does not always look like that, this waste is considered non-hazardous – household, construction and cumbrous waste, rubble, soil, tin… Total daily income of waste includes more than 2.700 tones. Upon the arrival, the waste is sorted, compressed and covered with rocks and pebbles to prevent its spreading . Where there is no more space left for new layers, the trees are planted.

Layers of waste, that landfill employees call " The Great Wall of China", have been growing for decades, seriously risking to endanger humans, plants and animals nearby. The seagulls constantly flying around Vinča are an exception. They see it as a feeding place and continue scattering waste, dirt and diseases. In spite of being the source of hazard, from environmental standpoint, at the same time landfill Vinča represents the source of earnings for socially most endangered persons. By collecting and sorting raw materials from immense piles of waste, under dangerous, unhealthy and inhumane conditions, these men, women and children are struggling to provide their living incomes. Landfill Vinča is awaiting sanitation and remediation – the salvation for the environment, but also a threat to the survival of waste collectors, who will no longer be allowed to visit it freely in search for raw materials. Their destiny is uncertain and so is the future of nature that is slowly withdrawing in front of expanding amounts of waste.

Their workday has been photographed by Ana Batrićević, PhD, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Criminological and Sociological Research in Belgrade, within her field research on environmental protection in Serbia.

Beogradska deponija Vinča postoji od 1977. godine. Sa površinom od skoro 70 ha, najveća je deponija na ovim prostorima. Na Vinču se svakodnevno sliva otpad sa skoro svih gradskih opština. Iako ne izgleda uvek tako, u pitanju je neopasni otpad – kućni, kabasti, građevinski otpad, šut, zemlja, lim… Ukupni dnevni priliv smeća broji preko 2.700 tona. Nakon dovoženja, otpad se sortira, sabija i prekriva kamenjem i šljunkom, da se ne bi raznosio. Gde više nema prostora za nove slojeve, sadi se drveće. Slojevi otpada, koje zaposleni na deponiji nazivaju Kineski zid, decenijama rastu, rizikujući da ozbiljno ugroze ljude, biljke i životinje u njenoj blizini. Galebovi koji stalno obleću oko Vinče su izuzetak. Oni u njoj vide mesto za prehranu, pri čemu raznose otpad, prljavštinu i zaraze. Iako je sa ekološkog gledišta izvor opasnosti, deponija Vinča je istovremeno i izvor
prihoda za socijalno najugroženije. Sakupljajući i razvrstavajući sekundarne sirovine sa nepreglednih gomila smeća pod opasnim, nezdravim i nehumanim uslovima, ovi ljudi, žene i deca pokušavaju da obezbede sebi sredstva za život.

Deponiji Vinča predstoji sanacija i modernizacija – spas za životnu sredinu, ali i pretnja za opstanak sakupljača otpada, koji više neće moći slobodno da je posećuju u potrazi za sekundarnim sirovinama. Njihova sudbina je neizvesna, kao i budućnost prirode koja polako uzmiče pred narastajućim količinama otpada.

Njihov radni dan fotografisala je dr Ana Batrićević, viši naučni saradnik na Institutu za kriminološka i sociološka istraživanja u Beogradu, u sklopu svog terenskog istraživanja o zaštiti životne sredine u Srbiji.