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

International Solidarity! (India – August 2012)

Latin American waste pickers and allies supported India’s first waste picker-owned cooperative, SWACH, in its fight against privatization. In August, cooperatives and associations as well as allies, city representatives and other supporters sent their signatures of support. See the list below:

  • Asociación de Recicladores el Triunfo ASORRETRIUNFO
  • Asociación Colombiana de Recicladores – GAIAREC
  • Asociación Nacional de Recicladores A.N.R. (Colombia Movimiento Nacional de Recicladores)
  • Asociación de Recicladores de Bogotá A.R.B.
  • Cooperativa de Trabajo Asociado de Recicladores el Triunfo- COOPTRIUNFO
  • Asociación de Mujeres el Reciclaje Una Opción Digna ASODIG
  • Coordinador regional Latinoamericano del programa de recicladores.WIEGO
  • Gerente del plan de inclusión de población recicladora. Unidad Administrativa Especial de Servicios Públicos UAESP, Alcaldía Mayor de Bogotá Colombia
  • MTE y la Federaciona Argentina de Cooperativas de Cartoneros y Recicladores, Argentina
  • Secretaria de la Red Lacre/ Red Lacre Secretariat
  • Movimento Nacional dos Catadores (MNCR), Brazil

Read the letter of support


Improving working conditions  (South Africa – August 31, 2012)

Report from Musa Chamane, GroundWORK: A new shelter for labour intensive materials Recovery Facility is nearly coming to completion. The project includes 10 members of Mooi River Recyclers’ Cooperative. In the photo you can see the old shelter on the left and the new shelter, with toilets, shower, and offices, on the right. “We have been talking about this project the last two years, now something is finally coming together,” said Musa Chamane, waste campaign manager. “We are so very happy about this development.” Read Musa’s post

Learning from each other  (South Africa – September 2012)

sawpa waste pickers national exchange
In September, the South African Waste Pickers Association held the first national exchange. Waste pickers from across South Africa gathered at the Mooi River and Pietermartizburg landfill sites to share experiences, skills and ideas, and discuss successes and challenges that the association is facing at local, provincial and national levels. Read First national exchange among waste picker cooperatives at the Mooi River and Pietermaritzburg landfill sites in South Africa.

India – AIW

Fighting Privatization in India (India – August 2012)

All India Kabadi Mazdoor Mahasangh (AIKMM), a membership-based organization of waste collectors in India, organized a demonstration against privatization and waste to energy plants in Delhi last month. The surge of privatization that began in 2005 impacted the waste sector and now all of Delhi’s solid waste management has been sold to the hands of national and international companies. To make matters worse for the waste pickers and the environment, the government plans to burn all of Delhi’s waste to at three locations across the city. Waste workers marched to stop privatization and incineration on August 29.
Read the article

Fight for Pension Rights Continues (India – August 2012)

Over 4,000 people, including elderly citizens from all over Karnataka, gathered for a ‘People’s Campaign’ at Freedom Park in Bangalore on 9th August. The participants at the People’s Campaign included the elderly, dalits, tribals, marginal farmers, domestic workers, single women, waste pickers, construction workers, the disabled, sex workers, transgenders and people living with HIV. Now rapidly gathering steam, the Pension Parishad movement started in Pune in March 2012, when marginalized groups came together demanding universalisation of Pension.
Read the article.

No Child in Trash Newsletter (India – 7 September 2012)

Chintan (Environmental Research and Action Group) shared its Newsletter from our No Child in Trash Program. Among the hundreds who depend on Delhi’s Ghazipur landfill for a living are 203 families of wastepickers. Earlier this year in the early hours of the morning of 1st February, the slums at Ghazipur landfill caught fire, yet again. Over 240 wastepicker families lost every worldly belonging they owned, save the clothes on their back. Just over a month after the fire, Chintan spoke to some of the children from the affected families. The newsletter includes these interviews and updates on the situation.
Read the article

Latinamerica – RedLacre

Social security for waste pickers (Brazil – 3 September 2012)

Eduardo Ferreira de Paulo, a representative of the National Waste Pickers Movement of Brazil (MNCR), shared news about a senate bill to grant waste pickers the rights to receive INSS, Brazilian social security.
Read the article (in Portuguese)

The Right to Work (Uruguay – 5 September 2012)

UCRUS marcha
Again, organized waste pickers from UCRUS (Union of Clasificadores), in Montevideo, marched to demand their rights as workers and to denounce the threats and the confiscation of their horse-drawn carts from the city streets. The Colombian waste picker and organizer Nohra Padilla send a letter of support, describing that the threats that waste pickers are facing are increasingly present around the world.
Read the article

Waste pickers march, “Our Work is our Dignity” (Argentina – 18 September)

In September, the urban waste pickers’ cooperatives of Argentina mobilized in protest against the city government’s decision to install around the city containers that undermine waste pickers rights and demanded the fulfillment of the Zero Waste laws and the city’s pledge to place recycling in the hands of waste pickers. Waste pickers don’t want to rely on subsidies or welfare. The waste pickers gathered on September 18 to march to the Ministry of the Environment and the GCABA Public Space.
Read the article (in Spanish)

Letter of support from recicladores to the cartoneros of Argentina (in Spanish)