WASTELAND | The life inside Latin America's largest city dump

Just 15 miles from the nerve center of power in Brazil the back-and-forth of huge trucks loaded with junk does not stop. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, all the garbage produced in the Esplanada dos Ministérios, the National Congress, the Planalto Palace, as well as in the entire Distrito Federal feeds the largest sanitary landfill in Latin America, according to DWaste, considered the atlas of global waste management. Created under the shadow of the so called "projected city" and its monuments, the Aterro do Jockey, popularly called the "Lixao da Estrutural", extends over an area of 200 hectares and occupies the twenty-third position among the largest in activity in the world.

The community that gives it its name gradually emerged near the fence of the field, and currently 70 percent of its 50,000 inhabitants have some direct or indirect relationship with what the landfill produces. From the top of its mountain of trash with more than 50 meters height, you can see the horizon and the skyscrapers of the district of Aguas Claras.In its base, the green belt of the neighboring National Park of Brasília, where studies of the University of Brasília (UnB) point to a possible contamination by manure, the toxic liquid resulting from the decomposition of waste.


On january 19th, 2018, Estrutural closed definitively the doors after almost 60 years running 24 hours a day.

Lost & Found

© André Coelho 

Mostrar Mais
back to stories