The International Alliance of Waste Pickers is a union of waste picker organizations representing more than 460,000 workers across 34 countries
Supported by Logo WIEGO

Informal Economy Monitoring Study (IEMS)
Ongoing – July, August and September, 2012

The Informal Economy Monitoring Study (IEMS), which interviews and gathers information from waste pickers, street vendors and home-based workers and is coordinated by WIEGO, has been rapidly progressing. After a methodology workshop held in Durban in April, where 10 teams of researchers in the IEMS cities (Accra, Durban, Nakuru, Ahmedabad, Bangkok, Lahore, Pune, Belo Horizonte, Bogota and Lima) were trained in the qualitative tools and quantitative survey to be used in the study, each of the teams have been piloting the research tools. The pilots have now been done, and the first round of the data is being collected. Over the coming months, the survey and focus groups will be done in each of the cities, culminating in a data analysis workshop, to be held in mid-November in Durban. For more information visit the Inclusive Cities website

World Urban Forum 6
Naples, Italy
September 1-7, 2012

Inclusive Cities — a collaboration of membership-based organizations (MBOs) of the working poor, international alliances of MBOs and support organizations working together as partners to improve the situation of the working poor — will be attending the WUF6 to promote the inclusion of informal workers in municipal planning. The Inclusive Cities delegation will be hosting two networking events, “The Role of the Informal Economy in Cities: Current Realties and Future Prospects” and “Rethinking Approaches to Urban Planning: Reflections from Membership Based Organizations of the Working Poor”. Urban worker leaders from the Brazilian National Movement of Waste Pickers (MNCR), the Self-Employed Women’s Association (an Indian union with over a million members), and StreetNet International (an international alliance of street vendor organizations) will share the realities of their livelihoods and their experiences of collective action. Please see the Inclusive Cities website for more details.

National South African Waste Pickers Exchange
September 10-11, 2012

TransWaste Conference
Budapest, Hungary
September 24-25

This project is about “formalisation” of the informal, trans-boundary trade in re-usable durable goods between Austria and Germany in the “old” EU, and Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary. Anne Scheinberg of WASTE, the Netherlands, and Laxmi Narayan of WIEGO and KKPKP/SWACH, are co-leading a session in the afternoon of Monday 24th entitled: “Engaging Waste Pickers in Europe.” A Waste picker representative and an advocate from Hungary, Macedonia, Serbia, Italy, Romania, and Bulgaria have confirmed their participation and a meeting of waste picker representatives is planned for the 25th.

11th Waste and Citizenship Festival
Belo Horizonte, Brazil
October 22-25, 2012

The Waste and Citizenship Festival brings together waste pickers from around Brazil, municipal, state and federal government officials, judicial and legislative representatives, private companies and civil society to debate solid waste management. The purpose is to spread awareness about public policies on solid waste, promote sustainable waste reduction and incentivize changes in consumerist behaviors.

Cooperatives United World Festival – ICA Expo
Manchester, England
October 31-November 1, 2012

The global culmination event of the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives will be held in Manchester, UK from 29 October – 2 November 2012. Matilde Ramos, a waste picker and representative of Recicla Ourinhos, in Brazil, and a leader with the National Movement of Waste Pickers in Brazil, will be representing Latin American waste picker cooperative associations. Malati Gadgil, of SWACH waste pickers’ cooperative and a representative of SEWA (an Indian union with more than one million members) will be participating, as well as a representative from a Kenyan agricultural cooperative. The delegation is being arranged and supported by WIEGO. Workshops will include “Cooperatives for Informal Workers’ Rights and Livelihoods.”

São Paulo, Brazil
November 28-30, 2012

An event for waste picker associations and cooperatives of Latin America and the Caribbean and other groups and individuals interested in this theme. The event brings thousands of waste pickers from across Brazil, Latin America and the Caribbean to share experiences, debate public policy, and the social inclusion of waste pickers. The event features workshops, panels and roundtables. The idea is to unite technological, political and social innovations with the inclusion of waste pickers’ associations. Public and private recycling programs get a chance to share experiences and promote recycling systems based on solidarity, that values waste pickers. Link in portuguese: