Compañeros/as of the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Waste Pickers (Red Lacre), in this very moment we are living through one of the biggest violations of our right to work as waste pickers, as the municipal landfill company Chureca de Managua has displaced us from our workplace which for decades provided us with solid waste, our source of livelihood.
SWaCH’s “Send it Back” Campaign Fights for Proper Disposal of Used Sanitary Napkins to Protect Waste Pickers’ Health
SWaCH waste pickers’ cooperative began bringing attention to a little known but very important issue more than two years ago: the proper disposal of used sanitary napkins. After sending numerous requests to manufacturers of sanitary napkins and diapers and receiving no response, SWaCH came up with a last resort. The cooperative collected used sanitary napkins and sent them back in boxes to the companies’ corporate offices as a gift on International Women’s Day to make them experience firsthand what waste pickers undergo while handling such waste.
In Brazil, the fight against incineration continues. In São Bernardo do Campo, waste pickers attended public debate about waste to energy between the municipal government and the Anti-Incineration Coalition held at a Methodist church in the city. São Bernardo plans to install an incinerator that will burn waste in surrounding cities for a period of at least 30 years.
The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation authorities had been shockingly apathetic to the inhuman treatment to over 400 waste workers employed by its contractor BVG Kshitij. In frustration, the Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat (KKPKP) called for a public “verification drive” to ascertain the exact wages paid to workers by the company.
On January 1, a fire broke out in the municipal landfill of León, Nicaragua. According to Red Lacre, bad management by the municipal government and Cielo Group, the company responsible for the landfill’s operations, was the cause of the fire.
SWaCH — a waste picker-owned cooperative that was responsible for recycling throughout half of Pune, India — has been fighting a battle since it was squeezed out by a private contractor hired by the municipal government.
The Second Organizing Meetings with Waste Pickers was held in seven target cities in Nigeria. The purpose of the meetings is to support waste pickers’ organizing so they can better represent and protect themselves and have a platform to relate with members of the public, the government, waste dealers and other end users in a more organized way.
In December, Sujeylin Isabel Ordoñez Quesada, a waste picker with “Cooperativa de Recuperadores del Pacifico R.L (COOPEREPA)” of Costa Rica, sent an email to Red Lacre (Latin American Network of Waste Pickers) requesting advice about what actions to take in regards to the closure of the Parque Ambiental de Garabito landfill and the likely loss of the livelihoods of the 18 families working there.
Chintan Environmental Research & Action Group and Safai Sena just released a new documentary, Credits vs Carbon Credits. The film explores the effects of large projects vying for carbon credits on the livelihoods of waste pickers.
The second round of a workshop to support waste pickers organizing in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, was held in January of 2013. The Congolese Women’s Right League, a StreetNet affiliate, with support from WIEGO, organized an event that brought together 30 waste picker delegates from Bandundu, Bas Congo and Kinshasa.
The Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) and Revuelta Verde recently released a report on the struggle against waste incineration in cement factories in Mexico. The United Nations´ Clean Development Mechanism (carbon trading scheme) could approve a proposal for a UK-based company to incinerate waste in a cement kiln in Huichapan
“Chronicles of a struggle for inclusion: The December 2012 garbage crisis of Bogota” shows organized waste pickers promptly taking actions to reduce the impact of the garbage crisis in Bogota and giving an account of the series of unfortunate events and bad decisions that led to it, and of their struggles and victories throughout time to secure their rights and livelihoods.