In Brazil, waste pickers, allies and environmentalists make their mark at the National Environment Conference
Entre os dias 24 e 27 de outubro de 2013, em Brasília/DF, aconteceu a 4° Conferência Nacional de Meio Ambiente (CNMA), com representação de cerca de 1200 delegados de todo o País. Considerando as etapas municipais, regionais, estaduais, livres e a nacional, em que somadas, teve a participação histórica de mais de 200 mil pessoas, entre elas mais de 40 mil catadores de materiais recicláveis.
AIKMM: National Green Assembly on “Waste Legislation and Waste Pickers”: New MSW draft rules continue to exclude Waste Pickers
There is urgent need to assess the measures that the government has taken over the past decade to improve waste management in the country. Millions of dollars have been spent in large scale, centralised technochratic solutions with little impact or improvement in levels of recycling. The Draft MSW Rules, 2013, do nothing to reform the situation. Instead, they seek to continue with the status quo and only increase the already thriving presence of waste to energy plants across the country. Is this the answer to our waste management woes? A consultation of concerned stakeholders seeks to address this question.
The event “beyond the recycling, the work of waste pickers!”, that took place on last Saturday, September 21, was a resounding success! The Valoristes, a solidarity cooperative, that organized the event, managed to recuperate and divert 24,500 containers from landfills!
On August 31st, the Latin American Waste Pickers’ Network wrapped up a week of meetings and activities held in Santiago, Chile (Aug. 25-31). The final activity consisted of a visit to informal recyclers of the dumpsite known as Vertedero Los Molles, in Valparaíso.
Waste pickers’ associations from seven cities in Bolivia that participated in the second national conference, marched to demand the passage of a law that recognizes them as workers and gives them the right to social security benefits.
On September 14, Costa Rican waste pickers hosted their First Waste Pickers Conference, in the city of San Jose. More than 100 recicladores from around the country participated, according to the newspaper La Nación. Their stated objective is to dignify the livelihoods of the families that collect recyclables.
“Amidst incessantly growing joblessness, the government should uphold pro-poor projects and legislations that will improve occupational health and safety of waste pickers, secure their employment and encourage more unemployed Filipinos to enter the recycling industry,” said Thomas Kellenberger, Founding President of the Philippine Island Kids International Foundation, Inc.
Waste picker representatives from Brazil, Colombia and India were part of the WIEGO delegation at the 102th International Labour Conference in Geneva to bring attention to waste picking and recycling as a key sector for green jobs and sustainable development. Together with WIEGO colleagues, the delegates actively participated in the discussions that took place between June 5th and 20th and engaged in discussions with other groups and key players. For the waste picker delegation, this year’s Conference was the first step in a long process of establishing a voice and presence in the ILO.
On May 15 and 16, 2013 over 400 people attended the Joburg Waste Summit, hosted by the Johannesburg Council and its waste management company Pikitup. The Council and Pikitup urgently need to find ways to minimize waste going to landfill, and the Summit was called to explore how to do this. WIEGO and SAWPA argued that landfill reclaimers need to be included in all discussions and new recycling initiatives.
From June 19th to the 21st, the South African Waste Pickers Association (SAWPA) held its national meeting in Johannesburg. 80 waste pickers who are serving as landfill coordinators attended, from all over the country. There were seven waste picker leaders from different provinces. Facilitators from three organizations were there to support the meeting. “There has been progress since the mid-2000s,” said Musa Chamane, a waste campaign manager with GroundWork, an organization that works closely with SAWPA. “Conditions have been slowly changing for the better.”
Waste picker representatives from Brazil, Colombia and India are at the 102th International Labour Conference in Geneva to bring attention to waste picking and recycling as a key sector for green jobs and sustainable development. Please see below the speech of Nohra Padilla, of Colombia, and Alex Cardoso, of Brazil, presented at the plenary.
Trabalhar o empoderamento das mulheres não implica exclusão dos homens, significa contribuir para a emancipação de todos, homens e mulheres.
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.
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.
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.”
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.