Written by Exequiel Estay Tapia. El Dínamo. 11/13/2014
The Chilean waste pickers held our 5th national conference, carrying the motto: “We are the faces of recycling.” Performing this activity every day are more than 60,000 women and men who collect, separate and recycle the waste that society rejects. With our labor we perform more than 60 percent of the country’s recycling, which makes us a very important actor. Despite this fact, we waste pickers, whose labor is of high environmental and economic value, continue to be seen as invisible to most people. It’s that the badly named “waste” has a bad image: people are not used to seeing the wealth that we have seen for a long time. Thousands of individuals and families have started separating and recycling the recyclables they produce at home — but something is missing. As a country, we cannot afford to keep wasting our precious resources: new laws, incentives and education will drastically change our practices around solid waste management over the next ten years. Read the complete article, with the Chilean waste pickers’ demands (in Spanish).