The 6th Latin American Assembly of Waste Pickers was held in São Paulo, on December 17 and 18th of 2013. Reunited in solidarity with our brothers and sister “recyclers” and 33 delegates from 15 countries and members of Red Lacre, we have had the opportunity to come together to dialogue, debate, and share experiences.
On August 28th, 2013, the Ministry of Environment and Forests released the draft MSW Rules 2013 for public comments. These draft Rules are updating the original landmark Rules passed in 2000. Thirteen years later, we have learnt a lot about how to manage solid waste management programs that can clean our cities, provide jobs, and help reduce our burden on the environment. But these draft Rules have missed this incredible opportunity to apply the lessons we have learnt thus far.
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.
Each day waste pickers have to directly handle hundreds of soiled sanitary pads and diapers (baby and adult). SWaCH designed a S.T. disposable bag for the appropriate disposal of soiled sanitary pads. However, there has been an urgent need to look into the appropriate disposal of soiled diapers as well. Responding to this need, SWaCH has designed an identifiable label for the disposal of soiled diapers.
On October 8, the waste pickers’ cooperative Emprendedores Quiaqueños joined the Federación de Cartoneros y Recicladores and presented an action plan in the city of La Quiaca. The actions are being proposed in response to countless promises made by the municipality that have gone unfulfilled, as well as a lack of commitment from public authorities.
Working very hard in most unfavorable and hazardous conditions, they are the sole player in reducing carbon emission by saving remarkable amount of energy and ensuring recycling and reuse of major portion of the garbage. Their role is not only to serve the environment they are also playing key role to support the executing bodies in saving a huge part of revenue and reducing the carbon emission. Sign the petition here.
Quezon City waste pickers call fellow workers, government, and society to action in their Unity Statement
On the occasion of the “Waste Picker Regional Training and Consultation”, held on September 3, 2013 in Quezon City, Philippines, we stand committed and united in mind, voice, and action to attain our dreams and aspirations of a better situation and livelihood, that we may rise above our poverty and ensure a better future for our children.
La cooperativa El Álamo está formada por 60 cartoneros que recuperan materiales reciclables por un total de 200 toneladas por mes, evitando que estos materiales vayan al relleno sanitario. El Gobierno de la Ciudad de Bs.As. planea construir en un mes un túnel bajo nivel reduciendo las dimensiones del actual lugar hasta convertirlo en un sitio inutilizable para la tarea que realiza la cooperativa.
Davao City waste pickers call fellow workers, government, and society to action in their Unity Statement
On the occasion of the “Waste Picker Regional Training and Consultation”, held from July 30-31, 2013 at the UCCP Shalom Center, Davao City, we stand committed and united in mind, voice, and action to attain our dreams and aspirations of a better situation and livelihood, that we may rise above our poverty and ensure a better future for our children.
Cebu City waste pickers call fellow workers, government, and society to action in their Unity Statement
On the occasion of this meeting, dubbed “Waste Picker Regional Training and Consultation”, July 24-25 at the University of Cebu, Banilad, Cebu City, we stand committed and united in mind, voice, and action to attain our dreams and aspirations of a better situation and livelihood, that we may rise above our poverty and ensure a better future for our children.
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.
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.
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.
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:
In the 1990s the Tshwane municipality in South Africa engaged in a number of failed projects with waste pickers. These included a project that hired waste pickers to make crafts out of recyclable material. It also included at a private company with interests in waste management helping waste pickers to set up cooperatives and run buy-back centres for the cooperatives. However the positive that came out of these failures was that waste pickers formed committees on dumps and this provided the base for independent organizing. But what lessons and openings for organisation emerged in this period?