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Theme: Informal Economy
Occupational Group(s): Waste Pickers
Region(s): Mexico ; Other Developed
By Trevizo, Perla.

In the early morning sun as a light rain falls, a waste picker sifts through trash at el Tirabichi, a dump in Nogales, Sonora. The dump opened 20 years ago as a transfer station but the government plans to shut it down by the end of June. About 15 million people worldwide work as scavengers, with a global economic impact of more than $21 billion a year, the World Bank estimates.

Mexico Clear harmony Recycling Today . (8 January 2015)
By McKenna, Lisa.

"We began this business working directly with the pickers at the landfills collecting bottles," he says. "We created a big infrastructure to be able to service the pickers."

By Tuckman, Jo.

Since Mexico City closed a huge landfill, residents have warmed to recycling - but the rest of the waste system is yet to catch up.

About This Show: In 2011, Peter Baryshnikov traveled throughout Central America documenting the lives of marginalized and impoverished peoples in Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador. "Guajeros," the Spanish word for "trash pickers" serves as the title and subject of Baryshnikov's series. His work offers a glimpse into the social and environmental consequences of Central America's flawed waste system.

In a Paraguayan slum built atop a landfill, a group of innovative young classical musicians play instruments made of materials rescued from trash heaps.

Bonafont, Danone’s water brand in Mexico, is co-leading a project to help empower the waste-pickers on the landfills and secure its supply of recycled materials. The Pepenadores project brings together the social, business and environmental aspects at the end of the chain.

Mexico Recycling on the US–Mexico Border Our World 2.0 . (16 May 2012)
By Medina, Martin.

This economic disparity has created an intense flow of goods across the border in both directions, including recyclable materials, such as cardboard and aluminum.

Mexico For Some in Mexico, Trash Is a Treasure Worth Defending The New York Times . (16 February 2012)
By Malkin, Elisabeth.

A few weeks ago, the city closed its giant Bordo Poniente landfill for good, padlocking the gate and trucking the garbage to distant new dumps. Officials have optimistically outlined fast-track strategies to recycle, burn and compost all but a fraction of the garbage that the city now generates. But that European-style vision of handling garbage stands in sharp relief to the needs of the 1,500 trash pickers, or pepenadores, who rely on the refuse at Bordo Poniente every day for their livelihood.

Mexico Dump Closing a Harsh Blow to 4,500 Recyclers Vancouver Sun . (4 February 2012)

Roadside trash is piling up here and thousands who make a living picking through other people's garbage are staring at a bleak future after Mexico's largest open waste dump was shut down.

Mexico Scavengers Face Tough Times as Mexico Dump Closes Terra Daily . (3 February 2012)

Roadside trash is piling up here and thousands who make a living picking through other people's garbage are staring at a bleak future after Mexico's largest open waste dump was shut down.