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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Category: Events

Declaration of the 6th Assembly of Waste Pickers of Latin America and the Caribbean

The 6th Latin American Assembly of Waste Pickers was held in São Paulo, on December 17 and 18th of 2013. Reunited in solidarity with our brothers and sister “recyclers” and 33 delegates from 15 countries and members of Red Lacre, we have had the opportunity to come together to dialogue, debate, and share experiences.

conferencia nacional do meio ambiente

In Brazil, waste pickers, allies and environmentalists make their mark at the National Environment Conference

Entre os dias 24 e 27 de outubro de 2013, em Brasília/DF, aconteceu a 4° Conferência Nacional de Meio Ambiente (CNMA), com representação de cerca de 1200 delegados de todo o País. Considerando as etapas municipais, regionais, estaduais, livres e a nacional, em que somadas, teve a participação histórica de mais de 200 mil pessoas, entre elas mais de 40 mil catadores de materiais recicláveis.

AIKMM: National Green Assembly on “Waste Legislation and Waste Pickers”: New MSW draft rules continue to exclude Waste Pickers

There is urgent need to assess the measures that the government has taken over the past decade to improve waste management in the country. Millions of dollars have been spent in large scale, centralised technochratic solutions with little impact or improvement in levels of recycling. The Draft MSW Rules, 2013, do nothing to reform the situation. Instead, they seek to continue with the status quo and only increase the already thriving presence of waste to energy plants across the country. Is this the answer to our waste management woes? A consultation of concerned stakeholders seeks to address this question.

image courtesy of EcoWaste Coalition.

Philippines: Waste Pickers Frame Common Agenda, Fight for Right to Socio-legal Recognition

“Amidst incessantly growing joblessness, the government should uphold pro-poor projects and legislations that will improve occupational health and safety of waste pickers, secure their employment and encourage more unemployed Filipinos to enter the recycling industry,” said Thomas Kellenberger, Founding President of the Philippine Island Kids International Foundation, Inc.

The waste pickers delegation with Sharan Burrow, general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). Photo: Justina Pena-Pan.

Presente! Waste pickers participated in this year’s ILO Conference

Waste picker representatives from Brazil, Colombia and India were part of the WIEGO delegation at the 102th International Labour Conference in Geneva to bring attention to waste picking and recycling as a key sector for green jobs and sustainable development. Together with WIEGO colleagues, the delegates actively participated in the discussions that took place between June 5th and 20th and engaged in discussions with other groups and key players. For the waste picker delegation, this year’s Conference was the first step in a long process of establishing a voice and presence in the ILO.

Waste pickers walking towards home at the end of a workday at Marionhill landfill. Photo: Deia de Brito.

WIEGO and Waste Pickers Speak at Joburg Waste Summit

On May 15 and 16, 2013 over 400 people attended the Joburg Waste Summit, hosted by the Johannesburg Council and its waste management company Pikitup. The Council and Pikitup urgently need to find ways to minimize waste going to landfill, and the Summit was called to explore how to do this. WIEGO and SAWPA argued that landfill reclaimers need to be included in all discussions and new recycling initiatives.

South African Waste Pickers Association National Meeting

From June 19th to the 21st, the South African Waste Pickers Association (SAWPA) held its national meeting in Johannesburg. 80 waste pickers who are serving as landfill coordinators attended, from all over the country. There were seven waste picker leaders from different provinces. Facilitators from three organizations were there to support the meeting. “There has been progress since the mid-2000s,” said Musa Chamane, a waste campaign manager with GroundWork, an organization that works closely with SAWPA. “Conditions have been slowly changing for the better.”

Waste picker representatives address the International Labour Conference plenary

Waste picker representatives from Brazil, Colombia and India are at the 102th International Labour Conference in Geneva to bring attention to waste picking and recycling as a key sector for green jobs and sustainable development. Please see below the speech of Nohra Padilla, of Colombia, and Alex Cardoso, of Brazil, presented at the plenary.