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Trash-for-cash

A small village in southern Benin no longer disposes of waste. Instead, they use it as a source of gas and cash.

ReBin, a sustainable development foundation, built a 3.2-acre facility in the Houegbo village that turns organic waste into biogas, saving huge amounts of wood from being used to make charcoal.

Since its creation, over 100 households in the area have signed up to deposit their waste at the facility in exchange for cash and gas. Now, you see men and women carrying big plastic bags filled with gas to their homes.

People now have money to pay for food and shelter, all because of the cash-for-trash exchange.

ReBin Foundation Chief Mark Giannelli was inspired to create the project after seeing the huge amount of waste the region produced, primarily from pineapple skins, given that Benin is Africa's fourth-biggest exporter of the fruit.

The goal is to establish "a real economy that serves the population and protects the environment," Giannelli says. "We have to take the problems locally and adapt them to local solutions."

Creating a sustainable environment and way of life are just some of the results this foundation has created:

"We did not know here that garbage can become a source of happiness," a community member said.

For all 3.2 acres of waste, read here.