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 Association Amelior


Country France

July 17, 2017

Translated by Rhiana Chinapen

On July 2nd, the Association of Individual and Organized Local Economic Recycling (AMELIOR) hosted the grand opening of its cooperative shop, “Parterre des biffinEs”. Featuring a materials library, a clothing-by-the-kilo sale, and a flea market, there were also a number of workshops, on dismantling and reusing electric and electronic materials, repairing computers, crocheting with plastic bags, framing paintings, and welding and making bicycle carts. Those who went could also enjoy live music, food, and an exhibit of photos and drawings of waste pickers.

June was a busy month in the social management of waste. We practiced our trade of recycling and adding value to waste and unsold items from yard sales, and in recovering unused items from homes. We hosted a meeting with the street vendors collective where we received knowledge and recommendations for joint actions. There was exploration and exchange with the public during a screening of the documentary film “Les Tribus de la recup” (The Recoverers’ Tribe). Organizers of the St. Blaise flea market – one of the largest markets in Paris – invited AMELIOR to bring its tools and know-how/expertise to its stand on dismantling electric and electronic material, during the celebration of recycling organized by REFER.

We had our monthly flea market, attended by about 200 waste pickers from 46 districts, with thousands of buyers and sellers since March 2013. Our authorized sale booths of recuperated goods, featuring about 12 tons of recycled, often unique, products, are within everyone’s price range. It is this recognized work of recovering and reselling that has formalized sustainable recycling in Paris for a thousand years (over many years?).

By recognizing our contribution to efficient waste management in terms of recycling, through basic and collective organization to create and sustain flea markets and popular economies, and by organizing based on the Right to the City and an economy for all, we are moving towards our goal: a place and a market for all; rights for all workers; and ZERO WASTE-ZERO POVERTY.

You can be kept informed of our activities on our AMELIOR Facebook page or on our blog!

Do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail for any questions or suggestions: