Smokey Mountain

landfill in Manila, Philippines

Smokey Mountain is a big landfill site in Manila in the Philippines. It was called "Smokey Mountain" because of the thick smoke coming from burning waste. There were 2 million tons of waste dumped there. It made a big mountain. Many poor people lived in a shanty town at Smokey Mountain. They earned money by selling things they found in the dumped waste. These were things like plastic bottles, glass, cardboard, and copper wire.[1]

New houses next to Smokey Mountain in 2011

The Philippine government closed Smokey Mountain in 1995. No more waste was dumped there. The government cleaned up the landfill site. They covered up the mountain of waste with dirt. They planted grass and trees. They knocked down the shanty town. New houses were built next to Smokey Mountain.[2]

This did not stop all the problems. Many poor people moved to a new landfill very close to Smokey Mountain. Waste is still dumped in that new landfill. The poor people built a new shanty town there. In the new landfill they still work all day looking in the waste for things they can sell.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Lo, Barnaby (24 November 2010). "Living Off Toxic Trash in the Philippines". CBS News.
  2. Medina, Martin (2007). The world's scavengers : salvaging for sustainable consumption and production. AltaMira Press. p. 189. ISBN 978-0759109414.

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