Waste Pickers: The Right to Be Recognized as Workers
June, 2013

Waste Pickers: Position PaperLong before the green economy concept was globally adopted, waste pickers and other recycling and waste workers in the informal economy have offered a public service with positive economic, social and environmental impact for their communities. For centuries they have been fighting to have their activities recognized as an occupation and to improve their working conditions, their status and their earnings.


Yet today, most waste pickers are not recognized as public service providers or “green workers” and have no clear links to formal industries or municipalities. Now, new industries and big corporations—both local and multinational—are competing for the same recyclable materials that waste pickers have traditionally relied on for their occupations and to earn their livelihoods.


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