GLOBAL ALLIANCE OF WASTE PICKERS
GLOBAL ALLIANCE OF
WASTE PICKERS
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
cronicas de una lucha por la inclusion

Substitution of Animal Traction Vehicles in Bogota

In 2003, the national transit code sought to eradicate animal traction vehicles or animal pulled carts that would have affected hundreds of thousands in Colombia. They had to demand their rights.

petro se queda

Video: the recicladores of Bogotá on the ousting of Mayor Petro

In a video produced by ARB and supported by WIEGO, Silvio Ruiz Grisales, a Colombian recycler, spoke about the continued fight for the right to waste management in Bogotá.

Foto: Association of Recyclers of Bogotá.

Petition! Support informal recyclers and zero waste in Bogota

We invite concerned groups and individuals across the globe to support a petition by Bogota’s informal recyclers (waste pickers) urging Colombia’s Inspector-General, Alejandro Ordóñez, to reverse the decision to oust the democratically-elected Mayor of Bogotá, Gustavo Petro. The ruling against Mayor Petro was based on actions he took against private waste management companies in the process of implementing an inclusive Zero Waste Program in Bogota.

cronicas video-si se puede

Video: Chronicles of a Struggle for Inclusion, Part 3: Sí Se Puede

Waste pickers have found that collective action in defense of their rights and livelihoods is an effective solution to transforming the difficult working conditions, discrimination and harassment they face.


Nohra Padilla with other winners of the Goldman Environmental Prize, Jonathan Deal, Azzam Alwash, Rossano Ercolini, Aleta Baun, Kimberly Wasserman.

Goldman Prize acceptance speech by informal recycler Nohra Padilla + Photos + White House visit

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!

Crónicas de una lucha por la inclusión Recicladores Bogotá

“Chronicle of a Fight for Inclusion: The December 2012 garbage crisis of Bogota” now with English subtitles

“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.

Image from Cronicas de Una Lucha Por Inclusion - Parte 2

Part 2: “Chronicles of a Fight for Inclusion: The December 2012 Garbage Crisis of Bogotá”

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 going through security protocols, each received a PIN to claim their payment in any teller machine. Once they introduced their PIN in the teller machine, they received their payment. People burst into applause, jubilant shouts and even tears. “No more speeches! No more announcements!”—They shouted.

A time to celebrate! Dreams come true for the organized waste pickers of Bogotá

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.


Recicladores march in Bogotá on March 1st. Photo credit: ARB.

1° de marzo: photo gallery of events in Bogotá

Algunas imágenes de nuestros eventos en este 1 de marzo 2013 en Bogotá!

nohra padilla with new york canners

The global north has waste pickers too! Film about New York “canners” nominated for Academy Award

There is an army of waste pickers in the streets of New York, collecting cans and bottles. In New York, they are called “canners.” They can sell cans and bottes to middlemen for a few cents there. For the unemployed of the wealthiest city in the United States, it’s a growing profession.

Crónicas de una lucha por la inclusión Recicladores Bogotá

Video – Chronicles of a struggle for inclusion: The December 2012 garbage crisis in Bogota

“Chronicles of a struggle for inclusion: The December 2012 garbage crisis of Bogota” 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.

Photos from the waste pickers’ march for inclusion in Bogota – Dec. 13, 2012

Photos from the waste picker’s march for inclusion in Bogotá, past December 13th 2012. Photo credits: Federico Parra

Waste Pickers from Bogotá Need Your Support #todosconARB


In the city of Bogotá, Colombia, waste pickers of the Recyclers’ Association of Bogota (ARB) have been organizing themselves for more than two decades. ARB is one of the oldest independent waste picker-run associations in the world. But the association and its 2,500 members are not being recognized by the current municipal government of Bogotá. Their livelihoods are threatened by the interests of big companies and members of the government who are trying to take over the profitable business of solid waste management.

Recicladores de Bogotá: Mensaje de Silvio Ruiz Grisales, reciclador

apreciados y queridas el tema ha estado al dia en la agenda publica, favor leer y difundir saludos silvio ruiz grisales Reciclador Congreso cita a control político a Petro por rec...

“¿Por qué no han salido carretas de las calles?” (El Tiempo)

COLOMBIA – 17 enero 2012 A diferencia de Medellín, que desde diciembre del 2009 dejó de preocuparse por la circulación de vehículos de tracción animal en sus calles, Bog...

“Por no respetar derechos de los recicladores, Corte tumba licitación de basuras en Bogotá” (Noticias Caracol)

Henao descartó problemas en la recolección de basuras en Bogotá. “En este momento están vigentes unos contratos para recoger hasta el último kilo de basura que haya en c...