A virtuous circle: Integrating waste pickers into solid waste management

A virtuous circle: Integrating waste pickers into solid waste management | Sources: World Bank’s Voices, March 2 2016 |

Waste – its generation, collection, and disposal – is a major global challenge of the 21st century. Recycling waste drives environmental sustainability by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and stimulates the economy by supplying raw materials and packaging materials.

wastepickers

Photo: Global Environment Facility/Flickr

Waste pickers are the principal actors in reclaiming waste for the recycling industry. Across the world, large numbers of people from low-income and disadvantaged communities make a living collecting and sorting waste, and then selling reclaimed waste through intermediaries to the recycling industry.

Where others see trash or garbage, the waste pickers see paper, cardboard, glass, and metal. They are skilled at sorting and bundling different types of waste by color, weight, and end use to sell to the recycling industry. Yet waste pickers are rarely recognized for the important role they play in creating value from the waste generated by others and in contributing to the reduction of carbon emissions.

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One response to “A virtuous circle: Integrating waste pickers into solid waste management

  1. Dear All,
    The decentralised Options for Solid Waste Management with community acceptance / participation is perhaps the most desired one for all successes.
    An integral provision of Solid Waste Management System in Towns / Cities should be to facilitate regular Health Check-up (free) including Health Insurance for the Waste Pickers / Handlers.
    Thanks and Regards.
    Nripendra Kumar Sarma
    Nagaon, Assam, India

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