When author Andy Mulligan was asked what inspired him to write ‘Trash’ he said that it was the setting. Mulligan explained that it was, “a vast dumpsite in Manila, which is where I live and work – a gorgeous country, full of paradise islands and the most hospitable people in the world. But…like so many countries, wracked by certain problems. A friend told me a true story: that the dumpsite children spend most of their time sorting through parcels of human excrement. We all know about child labour, but that detail – that little vision of hell – wouldn’t leave me. I wanted to write about some of those children, and allow them to fight back”.
In the Philippines there was a famous rubbish dump called Smokey Mountain. Smokey Mountain was a 2,000,000 ton rubbish dump, which was the waste disposal facility for Manila for more than 40 years. It was full of decomposing waste and rubbish fires (that’s where the smoky name comes from). Smokey Mountain was the home for a community of about 30,000 people, who scavenged through the rubbish for survival. Remember survival is our overarching theme for this term and this novel shows what some people have to do to survive in the world.