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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Harouna Niass

Harouna Niass, of Dakar, Senegal, also works with the Association Bokk Diom des Recuperateurs et Recycleurs in Mbeubeuss. He started recycling when he was 25 years old. He is 42.

By working as a recycler with his association, Harouna is able to support his family as the sole provider. He says the profession also him to make a decent living.

When he is not recycling, Harouna supports other recyclers — whom he calls comrades — by organizing assemblies and helping spread the message that recyclers deserve to be treated like other workers.
Harouna has participated in international events such as the World Social Forum. This year, he is participating in COP17. It’s important that people of all social classes support associations like Book Diom, Harouna said. The social changes that he and his comrades have achieved have positively affected nearby communities. For example, they’ve created a community center for health and education.