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Informal Economy & WIEGO
Occupational Group(s): Waste Pickers

Mexico City Recognizes the Rights of Informal Waste Pickers

Mexico City Recognizes the Rights of Informal Waste Pickers

 

Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Economy Associations (ZCIEA)

Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Economy Associations (ZCIEA) members include street/market vendors, construction workers, wastepickers, and other informal economy workers. As of January 2014 there were 10,500 members in 150 Associations grouped into chapters.

Waste Pickers at the United Nations Climate Change Conferences

Waste pickers contribute to the conservation of natural resources and energy while reducing air and water pollution. They also reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the reuse of materials. Around the globe, waste pickers are organizing and fighting for recognition of their significant environmental contributions.

Informal Economy Monitoring Study (IEMS)

An in-depth study, led by WIEGO, into the realities that informal waste pickers, street vendors and home-based workers face in 10 cities on 3 continents generated a wealth of knowledge. This was leveraged by informal workers' organizations and led to positive outcomes.

Waste Integration in South Africa (WISA)

Waste Integration in South Africa (WISA)

Strengthening the Role of Informal Waste Pickers

Waste Integration in South Africa Header 1
Photo credit: Jonathan Torgovnik_Getty Images Reportage

Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat (KKPKP)

Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat (KKPKP)

KKPKP, waste pickers, IndiaKKPKP is a trade union of wastepickers and itinerant scrap buyers registered in 1993, based in Pune, India. KKPKP uses the twin strategies of peaceful non-violent protest and resistance and development of alternatives, to mobilize around some of the key issues facing wastepickers.

Laws & Policies Beneficial to Waste Pickers

For two decades, development agencies, non-governmental organizations and academics have examined and recorded the contributions of waste pickers. Specialists and activists are now calling for an end to repressive policies on waste picking. They advocate the adoption of inclusive policies focused on legal recognition of waste pickers and their organizations, guaranteed access to waste for waste pickers, integration of waste pickers through their organizations into solid waste management systems, and the strengthening of membership-based waste picker organizations.

 

Basic Categories of Waste Pickers

Although the kinds of work waste pickers do differs across countries, some basic categories exist. These include:waste picker kkpkp

Waste Pickers and Human Rights

Waste Picker in Nicaragua

It is estimated that 20 million people worldwide depend directly on waste picking for their livelihoods. They work in landfills, open-air dumps or collect waste from garbage bags or containers located in public spaces. Waste pickers create considerable environmental, economic and social benefits in the cities where they work.