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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By Federico Parra, Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO)
Bogotá, Colombia – March 12, 2013

I am writing to share with you, the beginning of the process of paying recyclers in Bogotá (and the rest of Colombia) for their service of collecting and transporting recyclable waste. Today, March 12, 2013, 250 waste pickers, mostly members of the ARB, received from the Mayor, the “PIN” or banking system, through which the Mayor is going to grant payment for the tons transported since December 2012.

This single payment method is transitional but it is very effective, as it relieves pressure on organizational processes, provides sufficient time to strengthen existing organizations, and avoids the creation of fake recyclers’ organizations.

I think the first payment is the key moment, as it’s legally called “an accomplished fact”, and means that all other recyclers in the Colombia may demand the same treatment and the same solutions recyclers in Bogotá have achieved. This will be so important for our future work, sharing with others municipalities these court orders, creating possibilities of negotiation between authorities and recyclers, and developing inclusive models of waste management. I’ll be sharing with you the progress of this process.