In recognition of International Labour Day, or May Day, AIKMM and its associate organization NALR hosted a program to promote solidarity amongst the waste collectors in northeast Delhi.
In the beginning of April of this year, officials from the South African Department of the Environment (chemical and waste management branches) were in Brazil and Colombia to learn about inclusive solid waste management.
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.
Chintan celebrated Earth Day on April 22nd, in partnership with the Indian Railways at the New Delhi Railway Station. The Chintan team along with waste pickers with Safai Sena encouraged commuters to sign pledges to not litter the station and to crush plastic bottles before discarding them.
In March of this year, Kabad Se Jugad, a women’s cooperative that makes arts and crafts out of recyclable materials launched in the Seemapuri neighborhood of New Delhi. Before forming the cooperative, members survived by collecting waste from the surrounding neighborhoods. In partnership with New York-based artist, Rolando Politi, also known as Recycle and Pray, these waste pickers are transforming these materials into objects and art, “relying on inspiration and creativity (in Hindi: jugad) to guide our production process” and “bringing our talent of improvising from waste to the wider world.”
Here is a video of the Goldman Prize acceptance speech of Nohra Padilla, informal recycler and leader of the Colombian waste pickers’ movement. As part of the Goldman Prize, Padilla and other supporters of inclusive waste management (including the director of the Bogotá solid waste management department) were taken on a tour of San Francisco’s Zero Waste program. See the gallery of photos in this post. Also, Nohra Padilla is also scheduled to meet with President Obama. More on that soon!
In Brazil, the fight against incineration continues. In São Bernardo do Campo, waste pickers attended public debate about waste to energy between the municipal government and the Anti-Incineration Coalition held at a Methodist church in the city. São Bernardo plans to install an incinerator that will burn waste in surrounding cities for a period of at least 30 years.
Congratulations, Nohra Padilla, informal recycler and leader with the Association of Recyclers of Bogotá and the National Association of Recyclers in Colombia, for winning today the Goldman Environmental Prize for South and Central America. This prize has been called the environmental “Nobel” or “Oscar”. It comes with a $150,000 cash award.
PRISM project organised a Behaviour Change Campaign (BCC) on 25 March 2013 with an objective of gathering respect and recognizing waste worker’s contributions in solid waste management sector in Nepal with a brand message “Informal Waste Workers: Deserving respect for their contribution.”
“Chronicle of a Fight for Inclusion: The December 2012 garbage crisis of Bogotá” (now with English subtitles) shows organized waste pickers promptly taking actions to reduce the impact of the garbage crisis in Bogota and giving an account of the series of unfortunate events and bad decisions that led to it, and of their struggles and victories throughout time to secure their rights and livelihoods. In doing so, they demonstrate their capacity to provide efficient and quality services to the city’s waste management system.
This video discusses Auto 275, a Bogotá law meant to protect waste pickers’ rights as public service providers and to guarantee payment. It led to the court order that resulted in the organized waste pickers of Bogotá receiving priority as service providers and receiving payment for the first time. Auto 275 is explained via interviews conducted by a Bogotá waste picker with government authorities. The version with English subtitles is coming soon!
After over 20 years of fighting for recognition and inclusion in the city’s waste management system, the organized waste pickers of Bogotá finally saw their dreams come true when the municipal government issued them in March their first payment for the collection and transportation of recyclable materials. It was the first time they were paid as public service providers to the city.
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.
A meeting for exchanging and sharing experiences was held on March 1st, 2013, in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo in honor of Global Waste Pickers’ Day. Leaders of RECRED, the nascent waste picker’s network in the DRC, got together to discuss three main issues: network activities, health care, and how to strengthen the sector. It was noted that since the first steps towards a national network of waste pickers were taken in October of 2012, a few associations have been cooperating and have made contact with local authorities. The participants discussed the need for appropriate protective equipment at work as well as health insurance. There is a need to create cooperatives for access to microcredit, as well as workspace for selling and storing materials collectively. This meeting allowed members of RECRED to consolidate in order to invite other waste pickers who work individually to join the network.
Today is a very special day for the people that day after day get up to give their best in our struggles, each and every one of the waste pickers in the region, from different countries.
Today is still very far from being the day of happiness which all human beings yearn for, but certainly, bringing to light and to memory the tragic events that happened 26 years ago makes us reflect better on where we are today.
In the name of the National Association of Waste Pickers of Colombia, we would like to send you special greetings and blessings and a big hug.