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 Rete ONU and Amelior


Country Italy

January 11, 2019

First Informal European meeting of waste pickers and second hands operators in in Torino

The first Informal European meeting of waste pickers and second hands operators Towards an European network took place in Torino, on November 21st at Eco dalle Città in Torino, Italia.

The meeting was convened by Amelior, Rete ONU and ViviBalon to begin a process of building a European network promoted and focused on waste pickers, which could become a reference point for the second hands sector at European level.

In fact, this sector today does not have a broad and important representation, that can dialogue with the Community institutions and which can represent the needs of the operators. With second hand sector, we mean the workers who go through others’ trash and recollect reusable objects.

The participants exchanged information on their activities and shared the good practices that could be the object of comparison and exchange.

All the participants stressed the need to have a point of reference in addition to national ones to enhance:

  1. The profile and identity of waste pickers in Europe.
  2. The common characteristics of those who work in the second hand sector.
  3. The need for political representation among institutional actors, starting from the EU.
  4. The possibility of carrying out common transnational projects.
  5. The importance of enhancing the social and environmental impact of operators and more generally of the re-use sector.
  6. The opportunity for waste pickers to become the driver of the re-use sector.

Rete ONU, ViviBalon and Amelior have made available their willingness to work in the coming months to find further contacts in other European countries and resources for which to convene an extended meeting of the sector.

Provide your email in the following form if you want to get updates of this process or leave a comment to this post:


  • Alessandro Stillo, Rete ONU, Italy
  • Pietro Luppi, Rete ONU, Italy
  • Salvatore Planeta e Cristina Grosso, Associazione ViviBalon, Torino, Italy
  • Aleramo Virgili, Rete di Sostegno ai Mercatini ROM, Roma, Italy
  • Paolo Hutter, Eco dalle Città-Ecomori, Torino, Italy
  • Mauro Fedele, Consorzio Equo, Italy
  • Samuel Le Coeur, Amelior, Montreux-Parigi, France
  • Sonja Barbul, Papusza, Austria/Roma Nation
  • Arijan Toska, Macedonian Business Resource Center, Fyrom, Macendonia
  • Massimo Castiglia e Daniela Messina, Comune di Palermo, Italy
  • Pier Andrea Moiso, Cooperativa Triciclo, Torino, Italy

  1. Hello.

    I am working with Waste Pickers in Barcelona, Spain and hoping to get involved with this group. Who can I contact about it?

    Very exciting,


    Comment by — February 2, 2019 @ 7:32 am