Unleashing Waste-Pickers’ Potential: Supporting Recycling Cooperatives in Santiago de Chile. World Development, Volume 101, January 2018, Pages 293-310.
- Waste-picker performance is affected by the policy environment in which they operate.
- Traditional policies that repress waste-pickers systematically hurt their collection rates, wages, and working conditions.
- Governmental support improves the performance of waste-pickers by increasing their economic, social, and environmental outcomes.
- Inexpensive policy measures working toward a more organized picture of waste-pickers dramatically increase their sustainable performance.
Our empirical results suggest a positive association between the level of government support and waste-pickers’ sustainable performance. Consequently, further positive government intervention, particularly in supporting a stronger structural organization for the waste-picker recycling system, is advocated as the primary policy recommendation of this paper.