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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Expocatadores is an event for business, experience exchanges, disseminating knowledge and technology for efficient and inclusive waste management. The event, which runs from Nov. 28-30, is hosting 1,500 waste pickers from 25 Brazilian states as well as visitors and government leaders. On Nov. 29, former president Lula Inácio da Silva spoke in the main auditorium.  There has also been an international presence, with participation from waste pickers from 12 countries in Latin America as well as India, Benin, and Kenya.

Also happening during Expocatadores is the 3rd National and International Gathering of Waste Pickers, the goal of which is to exchange experiences. The themes debated in the technical seminars focus on the implementation of the National Waste Policy, the closing of open dumps and waste management plans.

A message from the National Brazilian Movement of Waste Pickers:

It’s good business for the government.
In Brazil, the government spends 6 million dollars per day on recycling collection and final destination.

It’s good business for the government.
Waste pickers clean up waste from the streets, reducing the volume that ends up at dumps and landfills and increasing the lifespan of landfills.

É um bom negócio para a sociedade.
O catador chama a atenção do cidadão para o lixo que não é lixo, educando para o consumo consciente.

It’s good business for society.
Waste pickers bring to the attention of citizens trash that isn’t trash, and educate the population to consume conscientiously.

It’s good business for companies.
Some of the biggest companies in Brazil are recycling and taking on corporate responsibility.

Read the full program in English and Spanish

Below is a slideshow of photos from Expocatadores.

More photos and stories coming soon!