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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Law Reports

How do waste management laws affect waste pickers’ livelihoods?

This compilation of national waste management laws and policies in 22 countries throughout Asia and Latin America helps us understand the implications for the informal recycling sector. Next to the country’s name you will find an overview of the country’s context as well as stories of waste pickers involved in organizing efforts there. If documents on the country’s laws or policies are available, they will be included as attachments next to the country’s name. The law overviews include the following information: 1) introduction 2) size and significance 3) working conditions 4) earnings 5) law & policies, and 6) organization & voice. Because legislation’s are constantly changing, some countries may now be in a different political, social or economic situation and have new laws in place.

If you are able to identify such changes and their effects, please do not hesitate to contact us to let us know. Our goal is to make this a collaborative platform! If you want to know more about laws & policies beneficial to waste pickers, do visit this website at

This global compilation was originally requested in March 2011 at the Waste Pickers Interim Steering Committee held in Bangkok. It was Commissioned by Lucía Fernández, of WIEGO, in 2012 and completed by Roopa Madhav, in India in 2013 and Félix Cariboni, in Argentina in 2013. Information from the law section of this site (overviews) should be cited as follows: Fernández Lucía, Madhav Roopa, Cariboni Felix, LAW reports, WIEGO 2014.

Type of legislation

  • Inclusive legislation for waste pickers
  • Other