Separating the Trash

For decades, India has been the final destination for much of the world's trash: rusty cargo ships, plastic scraps, rags and used engine oil. Even thousands of tons of rubble from the World Trade Center were shipped to India for disposal. Taking refuse for a fee is a basic trade, but it provides satisfactory profits for recyclers.

Trouble is, it's often hazardous. Late last month, 10 laborers were killed in the New Delhi satellite town of Ghaziabad while unloading a pile of scrap metal that contained live 81-mm mortar shells. Over the next few days, hundreds more...

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