Tag Archives: waste pickers

Cambodian street pickers turn waste into survival profits

Cambodian street pickers turn waste into survival profits. Channel News Asia, October 26, 2016.

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Sophana works through the night sorting through garbage in one of Phnom Penh’s busiest bar districts.

PHNOM PENH: On any typical night around the heaving bars full of tourists and female workers, street pickers lurk in the shadows.

They are children, their parents and the elderly. They are grimy, hungry and desperate.

Phon Sophana is one of them. He and his family, including his wife and two young children, live on the street, foraging a living by searching through discarded waste for items of value, normally plastic bottles and cans.

They work through the night, mostly in the darkness, but all around the clock if they have the stamina.

“There are a lot of competitors,” the 31-year-old said. “If I can go early enough, it would be lucky. If the others go before me, they would collect everything first.

“Life is tough here.”

Read the complete article.

Women waste pickers: living conditions, work, and health

Women waste pickers: living conditions, work, and healthRev. Gaúcha Enferm. vol.37 no.3 Porto Alegre Sept 2016.

Objective – To know the elements of work, health, and living conditions of women who pick recyclable waste and are members of a waste cooperative in a town of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

Method – This is a qualitative, exploratory and descriptive study with seven subjects. Data were collected through participative observation, semi structured interview, and a focus group from July to August of 2013. The data were subjected to content analysis.

Results – The following thematic categories emerged: Women’s work, informality and precariousness; Experiences of job satisfaction; and Working conditions and health: experiences with accidents, illness and health services.

Conclusion – It was concluded that the women who collect recyclable material are exposed to precarious work conditions and potential health risks, such as work overload, accidents, illness, and social insecurity, and that nurses are responsible for promoting actions that ensure the health and inclusion of these workers.

Broken glass and needles: the waste pickers scraping a living at Jordan’s landfills

Broken glass and needles: the waste pickers scraping a living at Jordan’s landfills | Source: The Guardian, August 27, 2016 |

At Al Huseyniyat landfill, Syrian refugees salvage recyclables illegally. Efforts to formalise their work offer hope 

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Muhammed Abu Najib Temeki, 48, a father of nine from Deraa in Syria, pushes a cart of recyclable waste towards an Oxfam recycling centre in Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan. Photograph: Sam Tarling/Oxfam

Without warning the bulldozer accelerates, cutting through mounds of waste at Al Huseyniyat landfill in northern Jordan. A lingering stench intensifies as the machine scoops up an armful of rubbish, discharging clouds of flies over a group of people rifling through bin bags nearby.

No one notices the disturbance. Their gazes are trained downwards as they sift through the morning’s waste. “We look for plastic, aluminium, metal, clothes – anything we can sell or keep, or sometimes eat,” says Mohammed Ali, an Egyptian who makes a living salvaging recyclables from the site.

Ali manages a team of 15 waste pickers – men, women and children – most Syrians from nearby Za’atari refugee camp. They earn around 10 Jordanian dinar (£10.90) a day. “It’s not a lot but I make enough to manage on,” says Nawras Sahasil, a 21-year-old Syrian refugee who supports his wife and two children on the 250 dinars a month he earns from the landfill.

Like most people here, Sahasil does not have a work permit. While the Jordanian government has gone some way towards easing restrictions on employment for Syrian refugees, the vast majority are still working illegally. Now, a number of organisations in Jordan are looking to formalise the work of waste pickers and harness their role as recyclers to address the country’s mounting rubbish crisis, while developing sustainable solutions for processing waste in the future.

Read the complete article.

How One Organization in Hyderabad Is Helping People Manage Waste in a Responsible & Scientific Way

How One Organization in Hyderabad Is Helping People Manage Waste in a Responsible & Scientific Way | Source: The Better India, September 13, 2016 |

Sixty million tons of garbage generated per year; 45 million tons of untreated waste disposed of in an unhygienic manner every day; and about 0.34 kg waste generated by every person daily – when it comes to statistics regarding waste generation and management in India, the numbers looks quite dismal. wvi2

“We have no organised waste management system in India. We just dump waste and leave it around to pollute the environment. And the main reason behind this is that we do not have the concept of waste segregation at all. At most places, waste is simply thrown in the easiest manner possible,” says Mathangi Swaminathan, the Associate Director of Waste Ventures India (WVI) – a social enterprise that is working in the field of waste management in Hyderabad.

Run by a group of environmentally-conscious individuals, WVI provides waste solutions for housing societies and corporate offices by recycling dry waste and composting organic waste. The company offers doorstep collection of waste in two ways:

  • Collection of recyclable waste only.
  • Complete waste solution with collection of dry as well as organic waste.

Read the complete article.

Rio’s waste pickers: ‘People spat at us but now we’re at the Olympics’

Rio’s waste pickers: ‘People spat at us but now we’re at the Olympics’ |Source: The Guardian, Aug 6 2016 |

Rio authorities partner with Coca-Cola to fund the Rio Olympics waste pickers programme, putting a spotlight on one of Brazil’s most marginalised professions 

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Rio 2016’s waste pickers. Photograph: Luiz Galerani

Claudete Da Costa started working as a waste picker with her mother when she was 11 years old, collecting recyclable goods in Rio de Janeiro to sell to scrap merchants.

“We were ashamed,” she says. “People saw us and spat at us, thought we were thieves.”

Today, 36-year-old Da Costa’s outlook has changed. She is the Rio de Janeiro representative for Brazil’s National Movement of Waste Pickers, whose mission is to improve workers’ rights and increase recognition of the contribution made by one of Brazil’s most marginalised professions.

This month, Da Costa and 240 other pickers from 33 of Rio’s waste collecting co-operatives – autonomous groups that collect the city’s rubbish throughout the year – are formally contracted to handle recyclable waste during the Olympic Games.

The pickers will be spread across three of the four Olympic sites – Maracana, Olympic Park and Deodoro – where they will collect recyclable goods such as plastic bottles and aluminium cans, and take them to a depot to be sorted, stored and sold on by the co-ops to scrap merchants.

Read the complete article.

Mainstreaming Waste Pickers in City’s Solid Waste Management System -Swachh Bharat Urban

Mainstreaming Waste Pickers in City’s Solid Waste Management System, 2016. Swachh Bharat Urban

In the second course of this tutorial, Ms. Aparna Susarla, Operations Manager of SWaCH discusses the benefits of engaging waste pickers in the city’s SWM system for waste pickers as well as to the city. We will learn of the segregation of waste, composting of wet waste and sale of recyclables by waste pickers and how this cooperation has helped PMC save almost Rs. 16 crores annually.

Enabling factors for the existence of waste pickers: A systematic review

Enabling factors for the existence of waste pickers: A systematic reviewSocial work (Stellenbosch. Online) vol.52 n.1 Stellenbosch 2016. Authors: Rinie Schenck; Derick Blaauw; Kotie Viljoen.

The paper reports on a systematic review research process to determine the enabling factors for waste pickers to operate in the informal economy in South Africa. Twenty-eight South African journal articles, theses and position and policy papers were sourced and appraised.

The results indicate that recognition of the waste pickers in the waste system is the most enabling factor for them to operate. The concept of recognition is analysed, described and explained as assisting waste pickers to become more visible, having a voice and to be validated.