The International Alliance of Waste Pickers is a union of waste picker organizations representing more than 460,000 workers across 34 countries
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2nd National Waste Pickers’ Conference of Venezuela
Mérida, Venezuela
May 17-18, 2012

Participants at the 2nd National Waste Pickers' Conference, Venezuela. Credit: Jennyfer Méndez, ANREV

Participants at the 2nd National Waste Pickers’ Conference, Venezuela. Credit: Jennyfer Méndez, ANREV

Organized by the National Association of Waste Pickers of Venezuela and with the support of the University of the Andes, the theme of the event was “Recognizing waste pickers in the value chain.” The objective of the conference was to identify and promote waste pickers in Venezuela, improve their livelihoods, and work towards their formal recognition in waste management systems. Waste picker delegates from Venezuela as well as from Brazil, Argentina and Colombia shared experiences. One of the objectives was to bring dignity to the profession through social inclusion and to work towards separation at source and more focus on recycling. In the news (in Spanish).

Women Waste Pickers’ National Conference
Paraná, Brazil
July 13-15

Participants at the Women Waste Pickers' Conference.

Participants at the Women Waste Pickers’ Conference.

500 women waste pickers from 23 states across Brazil gathered in Pontal, Paraná state for the 3rd National Conference of Women Waste Pickers. They debated gender equality, health, domestic violence and public policies. The conference featured lectures, debates and workshops, as well as cultural activities. Included in the event line-up was a march through the streets of Curitiba against incineration and in support of gender equality. Warrior women: This workshop brought together in small groups women waste pickers to debate and share experiences. Women who are leaders of cooperatives and/or breadwinners shared their experiences and the problems they face. Healthy women: The workshop dealt with women waste pickers’ health, opening up the topic of safety and health in the workplace, old age, and reproductive rights. Women leaders: Workshop for community leaders, leaders of cooperatives and activists. Political women: The workshop debated the National Waste Policy, corporate responsibility, and waste incinerators. At the end of the workshop, a final document was produced that will be delivered to President Dilma Rousseff and circulated widely. The conference was organized by the National Waste Pickers’ Movement of Brazil and the Waste and Citizenship Institute of Paraná. Link in Portuguese to MNCR press release

First Conference of Urban Waste Pickers
Buenos Aires, Argentina
August 3, 2012

More than 70 cooperatives from across Argentina participated in the country’s First Conference of Urban Waste Pickers. The purpose of the conference is to develop and strengthen the informal economy. Recognizing the dignity of the waste picker, promoting consciousness about waste pickers’ labor and social rights, and discussing the draft of a national recycling law that protects the rights of waste pickers. The conference featured panels on aspects of the waste picking profession, including the environmental impact and value of this work. There were also workshops in which waste pickers exchanged experiences.

First National Conference of Waste Pickers of Uruguay
Montevideo, Uruguay
August 11, 2012

UCRUS marcha

UCRUS march, September 2012.

The Union of Urban Waste Pickers of Uruguay (UCRUS), together with the Secretary of Labor Health and Environment, and with the support of the Cooperative Studies Center of the UDELAR university organized this first conference of Uruguayan waste pickers. The objective of the conference was to strengthen communications between all waste pickers across the country. It also celebrates the 10-year anniversary of UCRUS. Some of the goals of the conference include the recognition of waste pickers and better working conditions, standing against incineration and supporting the environment, and opposing the confiscation of waste pickers carts and fulfilling/respecting contracts and agreements with cooperatives. The Final Declaration of the First National Conference of Waste Pickers of UruguayIn the news, in Spanish