Reducing Waste in Coastal Cities through Inclusive Recycling

The ReWCC Project

waste pickers beach Senegal

Waste pickers in three coastal cities in Argentina, Ghana and Senegal are taking part in a two-year WIEGO project (2018 –2020) to build their skills, improve leadership and strengthen their organizations. The project is expected to result in improvements to their livelihoods and to the environment.

Waste pickers worldwide provide informal recycling services. In coastal areas, their work—collecting what others have tossed away – keeps tonnes of plastic and other harmful garbage from entering the ocean.

ReWCC involves waste pickers (WPs) and street collectors in

  • Accra, Ghana: waste pickers from Kpone landfill and street collectors in the Tema Newtown region
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina: members of FACCyR, the largest waste picker co-op in the world
  • Dakar, Senegal: waste picker members of Bokk Diom at the Mbeubeuss dumpsite

Project Goals

Strong membership-based organizations (MBOs)

Curriculum development, new skills and knowledge will strengthen organizations and their leaders, leading to effective negotiation with officials for solid waste management systems that include informal workers.

New Knowledge

  • Mapping of value chain dynamics in the three cities
  • Expanded knowledge of informal recycling – including street collection and work in dumpsites/landfills
  • New research, literature reviews and policy research to inform trainings, campaigns and negotiations

Environmental Evidence

The first methodology to measure decreases in greenhouse gas emissions brought about by informal recycling will be developed through the ReWCC baseline study in the three coastal cities.

waste pickerSharing Best Practices and Building Alliances

The project will also help waste pickers exchange information and insight. Waste pickers in the three cities will take part in exchange visits to learn from each other. Regional exchanges will also bring informal recyclers together across six cities in Argentina, while in West Africa, alliances will be strengthened, moving toward formation of a regional network.

Strategic support will be provided by the Alliance of Indian Wastepickers (AIW) and by waste pickers in Colombia, while virtual exchanges will happen through Globalrec.org.

In 2020, the 2nd global meeting of waste pickers will convene in Buenos Aires.

The project will also help expand the WAW Database.

Organizing

In Buenos Aires, CTEP will increase membership by an additional 15-20% – including informal recyclers working independently and from private homes.

Engagement with Decision-makers

Informal recyclers in Accra will engage with decision-makers on new research on a national
recycling policy.

Increased Public Awareness

trash beach

The project will help coordinate local campaigns in each city to build public awareness of the important role of informal waste pickers. Project highlights and successes will be communicated broadly.

Working in WIEGO

Funded by Sweden’s SIDA, the project is coordinated by Taylor Cass Talbott, who is supported by WIEGO’s team of waste picker experts, while on the ground, dedicated local teams are at work in Accra, Dakar and Buenos Aires (Karim Saagbul, Maguette Diop el Hadji and Manuel Mateu). Net support coordination for global exchanges are provided by Carolina Palacios.

Leveraging synergies with other WIEGO work in the sector, including the SIDA Net Support
Project globally, the Pickit Project in Accra, and the Focal Cities projects in Accra and Dakar.