For more than 300 people, outsiders and locals alike, the landfill site at Banchare Dada is a source of sustenance. Scores of people engage in dumpster diving at the site, looking for treasure in someone’s trash.

A couple, Sanu and Sita Sedhai, who are residents of Kakani, Nuwakot, earn their livelihoods by collecting items from the dumping site that are worth selling. The couple jointly gathers around 80-90 kgs of waste to sell to contractors.

Although not formally employed, they visit the dumping site on a daily basis and collect any item worth selling to a contractor who buys such items offering them 8-10 rupees per kg, as per the utility of the items.

“We don’t like doing this and the amount is barely enough to feed ourselves, let alone pay for our children’s education. But for villagers like us, with no land for farming or other means of income, it is our only way to make ends meet,” said Sita.