The International Alliance of Waste Pickers is a networking process supported by WIEGO, among thousands of waste picker organizations with groups in more than 28 countries covering mainly Latin America, Asia and Africa.
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Written by Safai Sena


Country India

August 21, 2015

press release. 08/09/2015

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Safai Sena, a registered group of over 12,000 wastepickers, doorstep waste collectors, itinerant and other small buyers, small junk dealers, and other types of recyclers have sent a strong letter to Sri. Prakash Javdekar, Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change.

They demand that the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2015 must take into account the services of 2 million wastepickers in the country who are an integral part of solid waste management, and keep cities clean and prevent us from drowning in our own waste. Their roles though mentioned in the draft rules, a sword hangs over the livelihoods of this informal sector as the Government is hell bent on promoting waste to energy plants all over India that compete for the same waste that the wastepickers recycle, at the cost of the environment that these plants heavily pollute.

Here is why wastepickers, kabaris and recyclers are key to a Swachh Bharat:

•There are over 150,000 people in Delhi involved in recycling through collection, segregation etc.
•They recycle 20-25% of the waste in urban cities
•They save 3.6 times more greenhouse gases than any project in India that gets carbon credits

Including waste pickers in waste management systems in Delhi will not only let the city comply with established rules and policies, it will also ensure stable, safe and secure livelihoods of a large section of the urban poor, thus securing their trust in and support for the municipal government.

About Safai Sena: A registered group of wastepickers, doorstep waste collectors, itinerant and other small buyers, small junk dealers, and other types of recyclers. Safai Sena’s vision is that adult waste handlers must be able to upgrade their work to green jobs, which means apart from being good for the environment; our work should be safe, secure, dignified, and clean for us.

For details, contact:

Jai Prakash Choudhary
Secretary, Safai Sena
Mobile: 9810225423

Chitra Mukherjee-Ph: 9811350663
Manager, Advocacy and Outreach