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.
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Los miembros de la Asociación levantan la mano en señal de aprobación de los estatutos.

Dominican Republic hosted its first conference of waste pickers

Congratulations to the association of waste pickers of the Mao landfill, in the Dominican Republic, for hosting their first assembly on July 21st. “We continue to move forward towards the creation of the National Movement of Waste Pickers of the Dominican Republic,” the Asociación de los Recicladores del Ecoparque Rafey said on their facebook page. See their facebook post with photos.

Les biffins selling their reclaimed materials at the Marche aux Puces (Street Market) in Paris.

New association in Paris, Amelior

The profession of biffins (“waste picker” in french) has been recognized since 1240, and the right to recover materials since 1670. The biffins are skilled in collecting, repairing and upgrading objects and devices, with ancient expertise in sorting and selling.

Nepal waste picker with crafts

Success stories from Nepal: waste pickers participate in trainings

Practical Action through the PRISM (Poverty Reduction of Informal Workers in Solid Waste management Sectors) project recently organised a 15 days entrepreneur’s skill development training on recyclable waste (plastic) to female waste pickers to enhance their entrepreneurship capacity in the Kathmandu valley as most of the waste enterprises in Nepal are owned by men.

Group of women talking on a couch

Organizing Tips: The Constitution – A Strong Foundation

A truly strong waste pickers’ organisation has a collective leadership that represents its members who are active and make democratic decisions. For all elements to work together an organisation needs clear objectives, structures and rules. It needs policies and procedures. All of these things must be in writing for all members to see and should be formally adopted by the members. This is the organisation’s constitution.


Will to be United: DRC Waste Pickers

“These waste pickers from Kinshasa are very creative,” commented Wiego’s  (Women in Informal Employment Globalising & Organising) Kapita Tuwizana. “Being so poor has made them think in imaginative ways.” They collect garbage such as plastic, cardboard, metal like any other waste pickers but they also make new things from this waste and sell it.

A Conversation with a Cairo Activist

Michael Hanna Shukri is an Egyptian who is working hard on a new waste picker’s union. We spoke to him about his work and organization.
What is your background? I am a young Zabaleen, which is the name of Cairo’s informal garbage collectors who started working in Cairo 80 years ago. I am 23 and I have been working for ten years. I am a member of the waste picker union and sit on the Spirit of the Youth’s board of directors. Spirit of the Youth is an NGO working with young Zabaleen which has spearheaded a campaign to start a union and helped it with money. Read more