The Global Alliance of Waste Pickers is a networking process supported by WIEGO, among thousands of waste picker organizations with groups in more than 28 countries covering mainly Latin America, Asia and Africa.
Supported by Logo WIEGO
Life and Voices of Waste pickers

Who are we?

Get to know waste picker leaders who have actively participated in the Global Alliance of Waste Pickers process.

Where are we?

Provisional list of hundreds of waste pickers’ groups around the globe.

News from Waste Pickers around the world


les valoristes2

Canadian waste pickers recycled 150,000 containers!

We thought of celebrating after recycling 120,000 containers but then we surpassed that last week! The success of the temporary recycling shed belonging to the Valoristes’ cooperative in Quebec confirms the need for permanent recycling sheds like the ones that exist across most of Canada.

Image: Hasirudala

An update from waste pickers in Bangalore

An update from Hasiru Dala, a member-based organisation of waste pickers seeking to improve our conditions of work and ensuring continued access to recyclables in the city of Bangalore. Hasiru Dala works towards accessing the benefits of various government programs to which waste pickers are entitled, enhancing educational opportunities for their children and advancing the quality of their lives.

Silvio Ruiz Grisales del Comité Global de la Red Latinoamericana y del Caribe de Recicladores toma el juramento a los directivos del Movimiento Nacional. Foto: Red Lacre.

Towards a national waste pickers’ movement in the Dominican Republic

On October 26th, organized waste pickers of the Dominican Republic launched their National Movement. Its objective is to demand public policies that are socially inclusive for the thousands of recicladores that work the landfills and streets of the Dominican Republic.

A press conference in March 2013 to address the issue of proper disposal of sanitary napkins. Photo credit: SWaCH.

SWaCH’s “Send it Back” Campaign Fights for Proper Disposal of Used Sanitary Napkins to Protect Waste Pickers’ Health

SWaCH waste pickers’ cooperative began bringing attention to a little known but very important issue more than two years ago: the proper disposal of used sanitary napkins. After sending numerous requests to manufacturers of sanitary napkins and diapers and receiving no response, SWaCH came up with a last resort. The cooperative collected used sanitary napkins and sent them back in boxes to the companies’ corporate offices as a gift on International Women’s Day to make them experience firsthand what waste pickers undergo while handling such waste.

Many of them, still in shock, could not do anything other than repeat their thanks. However, the work that remains will be a challenge —the promise is to have all the 14,400 waste pickers in Bogota included into this system. The idea is also that in a few years waste pickers will be organized to provide collection and transportation services of recyclable materials, and that they will also receive (why not?) remuneration for the other environmental services they provide. Photo credit: Federico Parra.

“Miracle in Bogota”: Waste pickers in Colombia paid for the first time for their services

Today, March 12, 2013, 250 waste pickers, mostly members of the ARB, received from the Mayor, the “PIN” or banking system, through which the Mayor is going to grant payment for the tons transported since December 2012.


Screen shot from the documentary about Gericinó dump in Rio called "Catador".

“As of today, the waste pickers of Rio de Janeiro will go hungry”

In the first week of September, 246 waste pickers of the Gericinó dumpsite in Bangú, a peripheral neighborhood in the Rio de Janeiro municipality, were facing the possibility of being suddenly out of work. The workers found out that the city, which has been in the process of closing the dumpsite for many months, was going to hand management over to a private company within two weeks time and that the dumpsite would be off limits.

Safai Sena protesting the exploitation and extortion of waste pickers by private contractors. (Photo: Safai Sena)

Safai Sena waste pickers protest exploitation by private contractors

On August 16, 2013, over 250 waste recyclers of Safai Sena held a protest in front of Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam office. Many of them marched over 12 kilometers despite heavy rains that day. The protest was organized to raise a collective voice against the illegal collection of money by private contractors and exploitation of waste recyclers in Kavi Nagar and Mohan Nagar zones.

asamblea centroamericana

Declaration of the 1st Conference of Central American Waste Pickers “Juana Rafaela Juárez Téllez”

United in solidarity with our brothers and sisters of the waste picking profession – 160 delegates from the 17 member countries of RED LACRE and RED NICA along with four countries representing 40 supporters – we have had had the opportunity to assemble with the purpose of dialoguing, debating, and sharing:


credits vs carbon credits film - santu interviews guards

New film by waste pickers about impact of carbon credits: “Credits vs Carbon Credits”

Chintan Environmental Research & Action Group and Safai Sena just released a new documentary, Credits vs Carbon Credits. The film explores the effects of large projects vying for carbon credits on the livelihoods of waste pickers.