Monday, November 28, 2011

Follow us at

The Global Alliance of Waste Pickers now has a website and this blog has been incorporated into the site. Please visit the blog at

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Global Alliance of Waste Pickers and Allies to Attend 2nd Franco-Brazilian "Waste and Citizenship Week"

France Libertés in coordination with the local authority of Plaine Commune (northern suburb of Paris) will host the 2nd Franco-Brazilian "Waste and Citizenship Week" from May 24-26th, 2011.  This public event share the experiences of Brazilian catadores  (waste pickers) and a whole network of French participants working in waste management and the social economy.  Attending the event on the part of the Global Alliance of Waste Pickers and Allies include waste pickers from KKPKP/ Alliance of Indian WastePickers, as well as from the Latin American and Carribean Waste Picker Network and allies from WIEGO. 

The event takes a critical look at waste management in the global south and modern waste management systems within France.
To find out more about this event and read a report on last year's event please see their website:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Serie PROhumana: Reciclaje y las 3 R

Video sobre el reciclaje con Exequiel Estay de MNRCh / Red Latinoamericana. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011 Recicladores, fundamentales en la mitigación del cambio climático Recicladores, fundamentales en la mitigación del cambio climático
por Nancy Arancibia/Nació

Aportan el 60% del reciclaje nacional y la misma cifra a nivel mundial, pero no son reconocidos por el Estado como agentes de ese cambio. En la conmemoración del Día Mundial de Reciclador, exigen su lugar en la cadena para lograr un medio ambiente más sano.

Haz clic aqui para leer mas.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Dia Mundial del Reciclador

Waste Pickers Across Latin America Unite with the Waste Pickers of Colombia to Recognize “Dia Mundial del Reciclador”

Thousands of waste pickers across Latin America will demonstate today on “World Waste Picker Day” as they have each year since 2008. Dia Mundial del Reciclador brings attention to the difficult work conditions that waste pickers experience, the valuable contribution that waste pickers provide to society and the environment, and the need for waste pickers to organize to improve their work and living conditions.

Events scheduled today across Latin America include marches and days of reflection in Colombia, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador.

Dia Mundial del Reciclador was established in 2008 during the First World Conference and Third Latin American Conference Waste Pickers to commemorate the violent deaths of 10 waste pickers in Colombia.

Monday, February 28, 2011

New Plastics Law for India

India has introduced a new law on plastic waste. The new law incorporates Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for plastics waste management and mentions the inclusion of waste pickers, a historic first. Some key features of the law include:

A ban on open burning of plastics.
A ban on plastic bags less than 40 micron.
Consumers must pay for plastic bags.
A pdf of the law can be accessed here:

New Plastics Law for India

New Plastics Law for India

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Two Recent New York Time Articles on Waste Pickers

The New York Times has published two excellent articles recently on waste pickers and their contribution to the environment and society.

Upon a Hill of Scraps: Surviving on Scavenging in Iraq by John Leland, examines the economic, social and physical difficulties associated with waste picking in Baghdad and the challenges of living in slums such as Naser City, where many waste pickers live illegally ("the land is free but illegal").  The article provides some interesting insight into the perspective of policy makers - from the governor Salah Abdul-Razzaq who states somewhat resignedly “Those people need to pick up garbage because there are no chances to work,” - to the mayor Saber al-Essawy, who plans on making changes to waste pick-ups to deter waste pickers and who states “In the future, those people will have to find jobs. That’s what we want, because they are a bad mark on our society.”

In Indian Scavengers Doing What Officials Can't, Akash Kapur discusses the issue of India and garbage, more specifically how waste pickers and waste workers in the informal economy offer a solution for to the India's rising tide of garbage.  "... the scale of India’s waste problems is such that the country needs every bit of help it can get. With its decades of expertise, with its existing networks of waste collectors and recyclers, the informal sector is a key partner in alleviating what is shaping up to be one of the country’s biggest environmental challenges."

Reading both articles, many issues come to mind - how society treats waste pickers, how municipalities and policy makers often undervalue the contribution of waste pickers (and see "modern" waste collection methods as superior) and how little power informal workers have in influencing the policy decisions that effect them and their livelihoods. 

New York Times - thanks for the attention to the plight of waste pickers world wide.  But just one issue - waste pickers aren't scavengers - they are people who make an enormous contribution to the environment and society - please try to be a bit more sensitive when referring to waste pickers in future articles.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Expocatador 2010 Highlights

Approximately 3,000 waste pickers attended Expocatador 2010. 
Participants included LAWPN (Latin American Waste Picker Network) representatives; Simon Mbata from South Africa; Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff, past Brazilian president Lula da Silva, WIEGO and GAIA experts, AVINA and many other organizations.

In addition to panel sessions, there was the signing of various agreements between the MNCR Brazilian National Movement of Waste Pickers) and Federal Government. Some highlights include: the creation of a Human Rights hotline for street dwellers; donation of federal land plots for construction of recycling centres for cooperatives; cooperation agreements with federal banks for funding to coops.

photos by Gil Warley

Friday, January 7, 2011

Baby Mojite (KKPKP) on Climate Change

KKPKP Documentary "Full Circle" now available online

Full Circle is a short documentary about KKPKP (trade union of waste pickers) and its work.  The documentary follows the women of KKPKP, and recounts some of their hardships and their successes including the development of the recycling co-op, SWaCH.