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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The Alliance of Indian Wastepickers (AIW)

Mumbai, Maharashtra, India


Primary information

Year formed
Bangla, English, Kannada, Khasi, Konkani, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu
Number of groups
Type of members
Members are waste picker organizations
Occupation of members
Itinerant workers, Scrap dealers, Solid waste managers, Waste collectors, Waste pickers
Type of Organization
Organizational Reach
Workplace of members
Collection from companies, Door to door, Dumpsite, Home-based, Landfill, Recycling center, Slums, Sorting center, Street
Organization Structure
The Alliance of Indian Wastepickers is steered by a programme committee, the members of the programme committee are representatives of the member organizations. Each province of India is represented by at the minimum one member of the programme committee. The programme committee members are decision-makers, decisions are implemented through the secretariat, which rotates amongst members. The organization hosting the secretariat takes the position of convenor and implement the programmes decided by the programme committee. There is a position of the national coordinator, who coordinates the network and implements the decisions.
Recognition of waste pickers and informal waste collectors, improve waste pickers' living and working conditions, job creation, demand provision of Government-funded social security for waste-pickers.
Education and training
Business & project management, Cooperativism & solidarity economy, Hygiene education, Leadership training, Learning exchange, Literacy & school, Mobilization, Rights & duties, Risks & health, Waste management
Partnering organizations
United Nations Development Programme, National Institute of Urban Affairs, Women in Informal Employment Globalizing & Organizing, Working Peoples Charter, Pension Parishad, Indo-Global Social Service Society
Donor funded, Membership fees, Partners
Women composition
Majority of women

Social networking sites



Are they selling to middlemen?
Challenges to access waste
Availability of waste, Exploitation, Harassment from authorities, Lack of education & training, Lack of infrastructure & resources, Negative attitude towards waste, Obtaining licenses, Price fluctuations of waste, Privatization, Transportation

Complementary Information

Information source
Updated by the Secretariat of the Alliance of Indian Wastepickers

Comments / Narrative

The Alliance of Indian Wastepickers is more than a decade old national coalition of organizations working with waste-pickers and other informal waste collectors. The alliance was created to have coordinated efforts to ensure the inclusion of waste pickers in various national-level programmes. Organizations/members of the alliance represent more than 40000 waste-pickers and other informal waste-pickers in India. Secretariat of the alliance has been rotating amongst member organizations starting from Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat (KKPKP), Pune. After that, Bangalore based organization of wastepickers- Hasiru Dala hosted the secretariat for 3 years. Currently, the Secretariat of the coalition is hosted by Stree Mukti Sanghatana, Mumbai. From April 2019, Dalit Bahujan Resource Centre (DBRC) will be hosting the secretariat of the Alliance.


Our Work

  1. Policy analysis and recommending policy measures to all levels of governments- Union, state and urban and rural local governments, different departments within each level of three-tier governments, for the inclusion of waste pickers and informal waste collectors in solid waste management and social protection measures.
  2. Capacity building of member organizations and municipal authorities to facilitate the integration of waste-pickers by undertaking training sessions on social entitlements, financial literacy, organic and dry waste management.
  3. Research focusing on waste management techniques, informal waste chains and status of waste-pickers and informal waste collectors.
  4. Awareness generation about the role played by waste-pickers and informal waste collectors in keeping the cities clean, mitigating climate change and contributing to manufacturing. In other words, waste-pickers and informal waste collectors are an important link between Swachh Bharat, India’s commitments for mitigating climate change and Make in India.
  5. Helping member organizations to strengthen themselves by providing a networking platform to learn from each other.