On a dark night with the wind at its low ebb, you can hear the insistent rumble of the city’s three million odd generators as they grumble: more oil, more oil. In the clarity of day you may notice black viscous waste oozing from leaking machinery. A steady trickle that finds its way to the city’s gutters unobserved by most and the source of livelihood for the Oil Scavenger.
You will not notice him or the vestiges which form the purpose of his hunt. Blackened, used engine oil is the commodity of his trade. Poured as waste by service hands and mechanics down the drain and into gutters. Afloat in stagnant waters, the unseen soiled delta of the city.
City gutters, the breeding ground of frogs and dragonfly who feed on mosquitos one keeping the other at bay. Sadly the ecological imbalance is barely noticed. The mosquitos in their increasing numbers buzz and bite all night and increase our need for generators. Thus more oil finds its way to our gutters, and the oil scavenger steadily waddles through the gutters with his equipment of sponges, buckets and greasy jerry cans. He is no ecological champion but he plays his little part. To him there is no waste when oil can be repurposed by back street ‘refineries’.
The waste is recycled into a cheaper alternative for those who can’t afford premium products and their regulars who can’t tell the difference. That is how it works in the metropolis; layers of economic ecologies superimposed one upon the other.