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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Written by SWaCH Cooperative


Country India

August 31, 2016

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materials recovery center - India

On 30th June 2016, in the august presence of the city’s stalwarts, Shree Kunal Kumar, Municipal Commissioner, PMC, Shree Suresh Jagtap, Joint Commissioner, PMC, Shree Chandere, councilor Baner prabhag, and veteran labour leader, Dr. Baba Adhav, the Materials Recovery Center at Kapil Malhar, Baner was inaugurated. This shed has been designed after many stakeholder consultations with citizens in the area as well as waste picker members of SWaCH. The commissioner observed “this shed is well ventilated and has plenty of light. It uses simple and easy-to-maintain materials.” The other special features of this shed are that it makes provision for small tempos (trucks) owned by waste pickers to come in and drop off the waste in designated areas and a rolling shutter, allows for dealers to pick up the recyclables. The innovative design has a pyramidal roof, and ventilation and light penetrates from the ceiling and the sides. The shed has bathrooms for the waste pickers. “I will ensure that this shed gets water supply and electricity, maybe even solar lights” said Shree Chandere during his speech.

Baba Adhav pointed out the need to upgrade the lives of the waste pickers and ensure that their health and safety is given utmost priority. Asha Kamble, a waste picker member emphatically said “we have got this shed, but we need to ensure that every waste picker in Pune gets access to similar sheds so we can do our job and keep the citizens happy.”

MRCs (materials recovery centers) are mandated by the city, state and central Rules- PMC draft bye laws, Maharashtra non-biodegradable Act, National Solid Waste Management Rules 2016. This is where recyclables are sorted into various categories prior to processing. It is a safe and secure place for waste pickers who can work, without fear of eviction or loss of materials due to rain or theft. Each waste picker requires 70-90 square feet of space for optimal prepping of materials for recycling. UN Habitat in partnership with SWaCH has been involved in enabling public spaces are used for essential services like waste management.