Territorial dynamics of waste collecting and recycling: Experience exchange and innovative solutions

Waste picker who is a member of COMARP in Brazil
9 December 2019 - 13 December 2019
Hanoi, Vietnam

Highlighting Vietnam, Indonesia, India and Brazil

Experts gathered in Hanoi to exchange experiences and research results concerning the issues of waste collecting and recycling in Indonesia, India, Brazil and Vietnam. 

Sonia Dias, the waste sector specialist from WIEGO’s Urban Policies Programme, participated as an expert advisor. She joined representatives from state agencies, research institutions, universities, international organizations and NGOs that work in the field will all participate. 

Sonia spoke to findings of the Informal Economy Monitoring Study, a 10-city study that offered insight into the grounded reality of waste pickers, street/market traders and home-based workers, including their contributions, challenges, and how governments and other players help and hinder their work. Her remarks focused on the Waste Pickers in Belo Horizonte, Brazil

She also highlighted other WIEGO projects that used participatory methodologies as they developed interventions to improve lives and livelihoods for waste pickers. These include the Cuidar Project (focused on health issues) and the Gender and Waste Project. She emphasized that inclusive cities need to be gender-sensitive in urban planning and design. Greater access to public space ensures informal women workers’ livelihoods and increases prospects for their economic empowerment.

Exchanges like this one in Vietnam help to build the knowledge base and understanding of the threats, opportunities and trends in the waste sector. As part of this, WIEGO believes it is crucial to ensure the contributions of the urban informal economy are highlighted.

Related Reading

Waste Pickers and Cities by Sonia M. Dias in Environment and Urbanization (2016)

Informal Economy Monitoring Study Sector Report: Waste Pickers by Sonia M. Dias, Melanie Samson

BLOG: How One Brazilian City Used Theater and Song to Popularize Recycling – and the Poor Workers Behind It 

How to Hit Women’s Economic Empowerment Targets: First ensure women can recognize their own dignity and self worth


Informal Economy Theme
Occupational group