About the Film

Filmed over four years, Garbage Dreams follows three teenage boys born into the trash trade and growing up in the world’s largest garbage village, located on the outskirts of Cairo. It is home to the Zaballeen, Egypt’s “garbage people.” For generations, the residents of Cairo have depended on the Zaballeen to collect their trash, paying them only a minimal amount. The Zaballeen survive by recycling the city’s waste and have created what is arguably the world’s most efficient waste disposal system. When the city they keep clean suddenly decides to replace the Zaballeen with garbage disposal companies, the Zaballeen community finds itself at a crossroads. Faced with the devastating change, each of the teenage boys is forced to make choices that will impact his personal future and the survival of his community.