I remember reading a story about plastic collecting drones in a country in Africa, or another part of the world with mostly developing nations. I think the main protagonist is a dark-skinned girl.
If I remember correctly it's about drones showing up that start turning garbage into useful stuff, eliminating poverty in the process.
I thought it was written by Cory Doctorow but I can't find it back, even though all of Doctorow's stories are well indexed by Google. It might just be another author, but their style is much more like Doctorow's than like Iain M. Banks' style.
Let me try to add some more details. I must have read the story before 2010 and after 2005. It was a short story, something between 20 and 50 pages. It could have been part of a collection.
I'm also not 100% sure about this but I think I read it on a very early version of FBReader on my Nokia 770, which makes it 2006/2007.
There were no aliens but an AI singularity may have played a role.
It was memorable to me because it provided hope for those living in impoverished situations. I have used ideas from the story during my own travels in Africa. Also, I want to find it back and read it again so I can refresh my thinking about developing nations.