The room where they sort the paper.
Sifting the paper onto the screen-type strainers to make it into flat pieces.
Laying the flat pieces of paper out to dry.
A woman assembling the paper into one of their products.
One of the beautiful bags they make by placing flower pedals onto the paper while it is still wet.
Most of you know that I teach 3rd grade. Yesterday, the 3rd and 4th grades at our school took a field trip to a recycling center where women actually recycle paper by hand. This recycling center is in "Garbage City". I did one of my very first posts on this "city". It is an area where most of the trash collectors in Cairo live. The people travel into the city and then bring the garbage back to be sorted through and recycled.
One popular tourist attraction is a recycling center where the women recycle paper by hand. I don't know about the 4th grade, but my class has been studying about recycling so we thought this would be a cool place to go. The women there make cards, pictures, bags, and other interesting things out of the paper they recycle.
Above are pictures I took of the process they go through. The paper arrives in bags, and the women sort through these bags by hand and have to separate things that aren't actually paper, such as plastic, cardboard, etc. Then, they put the papers they can use in piles. Then they put the paper through a shredder. After the paper is shredded, they put it in a machine with water that mixes it and makes it into a mushy mixture. After that, they move the mixture into more water where they use screen-type strainers to make the paper into flat pieces. After this, they take the flat pieces of paper, that are still wet, and lay them flat on a table where it takes one to two days to dry, depending on the weather. After the paper is dry, it is sent to a room where women assemble it into the products they sell.
Of course this is not an official recycling center, but it is a place where they teach women to do this, and it gives them a job. Plus, they use the profits from their products to give back to the community.
They also make rugs, quilts, purses and other things out of recycled fabric. They put the women through a 3-month training course, and after the course they either work for the center, or they are able to go out and use their newly acquired abilities to get another job. But that's another blog for another day.