Across Brazil, open dumps cause death and disease for waste pickers. To extend for another eight years the deadline to close open dumps will mean the continuation of this degrading situation, another eight years in which waste pickers will not have adequate workplaces and equipment.
On September 2nd, a waste picker died in a work-related accident at the Estrutural dumpsite in Brasília. Chico Moura, 57, who worked at the Estrutural dump for 25 years, was buried and then crushed by the machines that cover the waste at the dumpsite.
SAWPA has been in negotiations with government at all levels about their recognition, particularly receiving recognition in some municipal areas that has since resulted in new projects on the ground. There are various projects in which SAWPA members are involved.
Instead of supporting the local social economy, Msunduzi Municipality has signed an agreement with Wildlands Conservation Trust to take all recyclable waste from Pietermaritzburg.
In October, the Association of Waste Pickers of Eco Parque Rafey landfill in the Dominican Republic warned about the dangers of a landfill called the Vertedero Municipal de Santiago de los Caballeros. Because of poor management, the landfill frequently catches on fire.
In the first week of September, 246 waste pickers of the Gericinó dumpsite in Bangú, a peripheral neighborhood in the Rio de Janeiro municipality, were facing the possibility of being suddenly out of work. The workers found out that the city, which has been in the process of closing the dumpsite for many months, was going to hand management over to a private company within two weeks time and that the dumpsite would be off limits.