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Law Report: Venezuela

Waste Pickers in Venezuela


Municipalities in Venezuela are constrained by limited funds to deal with the growing problem of waste. The waste pickers contribute to the waste management system by sorting and gathering waste from bins and landfills.

Working Conditions

Workers collect metal scrap such as iron, copper, bronze, tin and aluminum and also cardboard and plastic from the landfills. The workers on the landfills work in insanitary conditions and many suffer from gastrointestinal diseases and respiratory diseases.


Workers who clock in longer hours of work manage to earn a little over the national minimum wage and can make approximately 2,000 bolivars a month.

Law and Policy

In 2010, a new solid waste management law to reduce generation of waste, ensure its proper collection and disposal and declares waste management a public service guaranteed by the state.

Article 56, Para 2 of the Public Power Municipal law, published in the Official Gazette No. 38.204 of 8 June 2005, provides for citizen participation and the improvement of living conditions and places the onus for this directly on the municipalities.