Tag Archives: waste pickers

From waste-picker to waste professional: A Bengaluru organisation recycles livelihoods

From waste-picker to waste professional: A Bengaluru organisation recycles livelihoods | Source: The News Minute, June 17 2016 |

Hasiru Dala also creates awareness about segregating dry waste and wet waste.

Thirty-eight-year-old Lakshmi has been working as a waste-picker in Bengaluru for five years. “We are called thieves when we are collecting waste. Some have even gone to the extent of calling the police,” said Lakshmi lamenting the state of waste-pickers in the city. Hasiru (1)

However, all that changed when Hasiru Dala, a social enterprise that organise waste-pickers came forward and provided Lakshmi with an ID card. “The green card from Hasiru Dala helps us avoid such problems,” she said.

Hasiru Dala, an organisation that turn waste-pickers to waste professionals aids the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) in managing Bengaluru’s massive waste production by providing waste management services for homes, apartments, commercial set-ups and events.. From a family wedding to a city-wide marathon, Hasiru Dala (Green Army in Kannada) provides waste management services for all kinds of events.

Along with recycling waste, Hasiru Dala has also managed to recycle the livelihoods of thousands of waste pickers in the city like that of Lakshmi. Shekhar Prabhakar, Managing Director of Hasiru Dala said, “Waste-picking is a job totally dependent on luck. It is not an easy job. Waste pickers bend down hundreds of times in covering a 10 km stretch. We are aiming to create dignified labour by providing waste-pickers with ID cards.” Hasiru Dala has helped around 7500 waste-pickers obtain an ID card.

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Sometimes you don’t make enough money to buy food: An analysis of South African street waste pickers income

Sometimes you don’t make enough money to buy food: An analysis of
South African street waste pickers income:, 2016. Economic Research Southern Africa Brief.

Authors: By JMM Viljoen, PF Blaauw and CJ Schenck

Local governments however, can play an important role in protecting and enhancing the income-earning opportunities of street waste pickers. Local governments should create an environment in which higher quantities of quality waste are made accessible to the street waste pickers.

One such initiative is the ‘separation of waste at source’ initiative. The benefits of a well-considered system of ‘separation at source’ will provide street waste pickers access to bigger volumes of semi-sorted waste, as well as higher quality waste which will enhance their income-earning opportunities.

Local governments should further facilitate infrastructure such as Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs), sorting facilities, and more efficient BBCs to assist street waste pickers to collect and sell higher volumes of waste. It is difficult for street waste pickers to sort and clean the waste properly without a place or space to sort the waste. Therefore, there is an urgent need for sorting and storage space to enable street waste pickers to sort the waste they have collected properly as better-sorted and higher quality waste reach higher prices.

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The Greener March: One Man’s Trash is another’s Revolution With Pimp My Carroça

The Greener March: One Man’s Trash is another’s Revolution With Pimp My Carroça | Source: Morocco World News, May 24 2016timthumb

Casablanca – You may have noticed them in your peripheries; bulky unwieldy carts with jerry-rigged walls, threatening to topple over under towering piles of plastic containers and cardboard.

Often unseen but ever-present, the men that pull these carts are called “mikhala” or “boara,” meaning waste pickers in Moroccan Arabic, make up the sprawling network of Morocco’s informal trash collection.  Municipal waste in Casablanca goes from kitchen trash cans straight to landfills, unless the material is recyclable in which case it is picked up by a waste picker who subsequently sells it to a recycling company.

Morocco, like many developing countries, has a lack of recycling infrastructure, which results in all municipal waste going straight to landfills. The waste and pollution problems in Morocco cannot be understated; Morocco is the second highest consumer of plastics in the world, second only to the United States according to Moroccan news site Yalbiladi. The waste pickers that are part of the wave of rural migration to big cities like Casablanca, often unable to find work, have crafted a niche market in recycling the enormous amount of trash.

The waste pickers are a deeply imperfect solution, yet they fill a void in Morocco’s trash infrastructure and provide an invaluable service to Moroccan citizens. This value however, is hampered by Moroccan society’s negative opinions of the trash pickers; they see the work of the waste pickers as an eyesore and nuisance in the city. Ostracized by Moroccan society, the waste pickers live on the fringes and are relegated to the lowest of societal rungs. This brings us to the start of the Pimp My Carroça Project.

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‘Trash banking’ takes off around the world

‘Trash banking’ takes off around the world | Source: Waste Dive, May 2016 |

Dive Brief:

  • The Mutiara Trash Bank in Makassar, Indonesia is seen as a leading example of the expanding “trash banking” system. The country has 2,800 trash banks in 129 cities which serve 175,000 people. wastedive
  • Residents bring in recyclables that are weighed for value. In exchange they can withdraw or deposit money from bank accounts. Some banks allow residents to pay directly for rice, phone cards or electricity bills. The Makassar government commits to buying the waste at fixed prices and then sells it to waste merchants who ship it to Java.
  • Makassar produces 800 tons of waste per day, much of which ends up in a large landfill. Waste pickers, who are often women and children, work to retrieve valuable materials from the growing pile. According to Indonesia’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry, 70% of the country’s waste goes to landfills.

Read the complete article.

Meet the bin scavengers saving SA R750-million a year

Meet the bin scavengers saving SA R750-million a year | Source: Sunday Times/South Africa, May 8 2016 |

His name is Peter May, and the collars of his dapper blue shirt have been ironed flat.

“I have the same name as an English cricketer,” he says, pulling a trolley that bulges with rubbish bags.

petermay

Peter May knows his bins Image: Ruvan Boshoff

But he is not a cricketer, and for him the waste inside the bags is not garbage. It is his livelihood: bundles of white paper, cardboard, newspaper and light steel sifted from bins and landfill sites across Cape Town.

May is one of the country’s 60 000 to 90 000 waste pickers who, in a recent surprise finding, save our municipalities up to R750-million a year.

They divert recyclables away from the landfills at no, or little cost. Now their fate hangs in the balance as the waste economy sets off on a new path.

According to a report by the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the waste and recycling sector “is on the brink of change” thanks to mandatory extended producer responsibility, which means producers will be responsible for the waste they generate. This often takes the form of a reuse, buy-back or recycling programme.

The CSIR has done research to see if waste pickers can be incorporated into the formal economy, and Professor Linda Godfrey, who led the study, said: “The most surprising finding for me was when we started to attach financial values to the savings by municipalities as a result of informal waste pickers.”

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Startup Turns Plastic Collected By Waste Pickers Into 3D Printer Ink

Startup Turns Plastic Collected By Waste Pickers Into 3D Printer Ink | Source: Huffington Post, May 5 2016 |

Trash collectors would be able to earn 20 times more than they do now.

Millions of waste collectors in developing countries spend their days sifting through garbage. It’s a task that’s dangerous and unhealthy, yet pretty critical considering that most of it is dumped illegally and there’s minimal private waste collection.

India Daily Life

A homeless child rag picker waits to cross a road after collecting recyclable material from a garbage dump in Gauhati, India, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

But they only earn about $2 a day and often burn the plastic in a way that’s deleterious to the environment.

Reflow, a startup out of Amsterdam, has found a way to disrupt that model, and help these workers earn 20 times more than do now.

The company partners directly with waste pickers and converts the plastic they amass into high quality print filament, which is what 3D printers use instead of ink.

Waste pickers, or those who make money by gathering and selling recyclable items, often live below the poverty line, the company pointed out on its Kickstarter page.

“Everywhere you go, you can find huge groups of people collecting waste barely being able to feed their family, plastic being burned in open air and plastic waste clogging drains, causing floods and spread disease,” the page reads. “Seeing this broke our hearts, and we were determined to help break this cycle.”

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WASTE -A documentary by Parasher Baruah

After winning a fellowship with InfoChange India, Parasher Baruah has directed a documentary film about the rag pickers of Dharavi . The film was selected to be screened at the Munich Documentary Film Festival in May 2009.

Filmed over a period of eight months in Dharavi, WASTE explores the importance of the rag pickers’ role in managing the city’s waste and the challenges that these people face every day. The film follows three adolescent rag pickers, Sameer, Santosh, and Salman, as they go about their daily lives and interviews other rag pickers and residents of Dharavi in the process.

WASTE leaves a powerful impact on its audience and prompts viewers to rethink the way they use and dispose of trash. The film continues to be screened at various schools and events to bring attention to the living conditions of rag pickers and to help audiences gain perspective on how their patterns of consumption impact the environment