http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/05/opinion/05chaturvedi.html?_r=4&ref=opinion

ThE New York Times Opinion

Op-Ed Contributor

A Scrap of Decency
垃圾碎屑

Published: August 4, 2009
Delhi, India
Translator: vivianalive    August 4, 2009

recycle

AMONG those suffering from the global recession are millions of workers who are not even included in the official statistics: urban recyclers — the trash pickers, sorters, traders and reprocessors who extricate paper, cardboard and plastics from garbage heaps and prepare them for reuse.
在那些蒙受全球经济衰退影响的人群中,有这样的几百万人,甚至不在官方统计中.他们是城市垃圾的回收利用者,对垃圾进行收集分类买卖再加工.把纸张硬纸板和塑料从垃圾堆里分离出来,并使它们能够被人们重新使用.
Their work is both unrecorded and largely unrecognized, even though in some parts of the world they handle as much as 20 percent of all waste.
他们的工作未被记录也基本不受认可,尽管在世界的某些地方他们处理了多达20%的垃圾.

The world’s 15 million informal recyclers clean up cities, prevent some trash from ending in landfills, and even reduce climate change by saving energy on waste disposal techniques like incineration.
世界上有150万非正式的垃圾回收利用工作者在清扫城市,避免一些垃圾被填埋.他们的工作甚至节省了耗费在焚烧等垃圾处理方式的能量,从而减少了气候改变.

They also recycle waste much more cheaply and efficiently than governments or corporations can, and in many cities in the developing world, they provide the only recycling services.
他们的垃圾回收利用服务比政府或者公司的都要廉价高效,而且在许多发展中国家的城市里,这是仅有的选择.

But as housing values and the cost of oil have fallen worldwide, so too has the price of scrap metal, paper and plastic.
但是由于世界范围内房价和油价的降低,金属废料纸张和塑料的价格也随之下降.
From India to Brazil to the Philippines, recyclers are experiencing a precipitous drop in income.
从印度到巴西到菲律宾,垃圾回收处理工作者的收入急剧下跌.
Trash pickers and scrap dealers in Minas Gerais State in Brazil, for example, saw a decline of as much as 80 percent in the price of old magazines and 81 percent for newspapers, and a 77 percent drop in the price of cardboard from October 2007 to last December.
以巴西米纳斯格蕾丝州的拾荒者和废品收购人员所面对的情况为例,旧杂志报纸和硬纸板的价格从2007年10月到去年12月分别下跌了80%81%和77%.

In the Philippines, many scrap dealers have shuttered so quickly that researchers at the Solid Waste Management Association of the Philippines didn’t have a chance to record their losses.
在菲律宾,大量废品收购人员破产的速度之快,使得菲律宾固体垃圾管理协会没能有机会记录他们的损失.

In Delhi, some 80 percent of families in the informal recycling business surveyed by my organization said they had cut back on “luxury foods,” which they defined as fruit, milk and meat.
在德里,大约80%接受本机构调查的涉足垃圾处理行业的家庭说,他们已经减少了在水果牛奶和肉类这些他们眼里的”奢侈食品”上的开销.
About 41 percent had stopped buying milk for their children.
有41%的家庭已经不再给孩子买牛奶.
By this summer, most of these children, already malnourished, hadn’t had a glass of milk in nine months.
这些孩子大部分都营养不良,到这个夏天,他们已经有9个月没有喝过一杯牛奶了.
Many of these children have also cut down on hours spent in school to work alongside their parents.
他们中还有许多人为了在父母身边工作,缩短了在学校的时间.

Families have liquidated their most valuable assets — primarily copper from electrical wires — and have stopped sending remittances back to their rural villages.
一些家庭变卖了他们最值钱的财产-主要是电线里的铜-并且停止了向乡下汇款.
Many have also sold their emergency stores of grain.
许多家庭还出售了应急用的谷物储备.
Their misery is not as familiar as that of the laid-off workers of imploding corporations, but it is often more tragic.
他们的苦难不像下岗职工或者濒危企业的,但通常更加凄惨.

Few countries have adopted emergency measures to help trash pickers.
少数国家已经采取了紧急措施来帮助拾荒者.
Brazil, for one, is providing recyclers, or “catadores,” with cheaper food, both through arrangements with local farmers and by offering food subsidies.
比如巴西,通过与当地农民协商和食品补贴来帮助垃圾回收利用工作者,或称”catadores”.
Other countries, with the support of nongovernmental organizations and donor agencies, should follow Brazil’s example.
其他国家也应该在非政府组织和慈善机构的支持下,仿效巴西的举措.
Unfortunately, most trash pickers operate outside official notice and end up falling through the cracks of programs like these.
不幸的是,大部分拾荒者未受到官方的注意,所以一点也得不到这些项目的帮助.

A more efficient temporary solution would be for governments to buoy the buying price of scrap.
由政府提高垃圾收购价格或许是个有效的临时方案.
To do this, they’d have to pay a small subsidy to waste dealers so they could purchase scrap from trash pickers at about 20 percent above the current price.
为此,他们不得不支付少量补贴给垃圾收购者,使得后者可以以高于当前价格20%的价格去购买拾荒者手上的废品.
This increase, if well advertised and broadly utilized, would bring recyclers back from the brink.
这一提价,如果被有效推广和采用.可以把垃圾回收利用工作者从悬崖边拉回来.

In the long run, though, these invisible workers will remain especially vulnerable to economic slowdowns unless they are integrated into the formal business sector, where they can have insurance and reliable wages.
然而,从长远看,这些看不到的工作者还是会特别容易受经济萧条的影响,除非他们被收入到正规的行业领域,获得保险和稳定的收入.

This is not hard to accomplish.
这并非难以实现.
Informal junk shops should have to apply for licenses, and governments should create or expand doorstep waste collection programs to employ trash pickers.
非正规的垃圾收购站必须申请营业执照,而政府则要创建或者扩宽垃圾收集项目的门槛,以此来雇佣拾荒者.

Instead of sorting through haphazard trash heaps and landfills, the pickers would have access to the cleaner scrap that comes straight from households and often brings a higher price.
拾荒者将可以直接从来自家庭的较为干净的垃圾,而不是从四处堆起的垃圾堆和填埋场中捡取可回收的部分.前者的价格往往更高.
Employing the trash pickers at this step would ensure that recyclables wouldn’t have to be lugged to landfills in the first place.
雇佣拾荒者这一项首先可以确保可回收利用的废品不至于被掩埋.

Experienced trash pickers, once incorporated into the formal economy, would recycle as efficiently as they always have, but they’d gain access to information on global scrap prices and would be better able to bargain for fair compensation.
有经验的拾荒者,一旦进入到正规经济体制,他们回收利用垃圾的效率会一如既往.但他们也会获得查询全球废品价格的条件,从而更加懂得如何争得合理的补偿.
Governments should charge households a service fee, which would also supplement the trash pickers’ income, and provide them with an extra measure of insurance against future crises.
政府应当向家庭收取服务费,这也会增加拾荒者的收入,同时额外提供他们一个应对未来危机的工具.

Their labor makes our cities healthier and more livable.
他们的劳动使我们的城市更加健康,更加适合居住.
We all stand to gain by making sure that the work of recycling remains sustainable for years to come.
我们都会从垃圾回收利用事业的可持续发展中获益.

Bharati Chaturvedi is the founder and director of the Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group.
Bharati Chaturvedi 是Chitan环境研究与行动组织的成立者和负责人.