The International Alliance of Waste Pickers is a union of waste picker organizations representing more than 460,000 workers across 34 countries
Supported by Logo WIEGO

SWaCH Pune Seva Cooperative Society

Pune, Maharashtra, India


Primary information

Year formed
Registered in
Formally registered
English, Hindi, Marathi
Number of members
Type of members
Members are waste pickers, Members employ waste pickers
Occupation of members
Itinerant buyers, Solid waste managers, Waste collectors, Waste pickers
Type of Organization
Organizational Reach
Workplace of members
Collection from companies, Companies, Door to door, Dumpsite, Fixed, Home-based, Open, Recycling center, Slums, Sorting center, Street
Organization Structure
Elected representatives of waste pickers geographically.
Integration within municipal solid waste management systems; value-added services, enhancement of work conditions and terms, building sustainable, robust alternative decentralised waste management systems with waste pickers at the core.
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
Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat, Kashtakari Panchayat Trust, Kagad Kach Patra Nagari Pat Sanstha, SWaCH+, Alliance of Indian Waste pickers, WIEGO, Anga Mehanti Kashtakari Kruti Samiti, Action for the Rights of the Child, Sampark Samiti
Donor, Donor funded, Government, Interest on loans, Loans, Local population pay fee, Local population pay fee, Membership fees, Ngo funds, Partners, Self funded
Internal elections
Every 5 years
Women composition
78,9% Majority women

Social networking sites



Member benefits
Child assistance programmes, Clean & healthy environment, Education programmes, Health care & insurance, Id cards, Job creation & source of income, Legal assistance, Occupational health & safety, Savings or credit scheme, Social & pension benefits, Training & advocacy, Wedding & funeral benefit
Safety & Technology
Dust coats, First aid kits, Gloves, Masks, No, Risk training,, Safety boots, Yes


What kind of relationship exists with the municipality?
Integrated into formal systems of source segregation, Providers of infrastructure
How is the relationship with the municipality?
Excellent and/or friendly
Types of materials
Animal waste, Biodegradable, Biodegradable waste, Bones, Bottles, Cans, Clothing, Electronic waste, Glass, Household items, Metals, Organics, Other, Paper and cardboard, Plastic, Plastics, Shoe soles, Tetra brik
Are they selling to middlemen?
Buying materials, Cleaning, Collecting materials, Collecting waste, Collection of recyclables, Collection of waste, Community sale of materials, Community storage of materials, Composting, New items made from collected materials, Organizing collective events, Recycling, Selling materials, Sensitization of locals, Sorting waste, Special collections from large generators of waste, Training and capacity building, Transportation, Waste collection, Waste management, Waste sorting
Sorting Spaces
Sorting center / sorting workshops
Treatmet of organic materials
Biogas, Composting
Challenges to access waste
Availability of waste, Contamination from waste, Exploitation, Foul smell & contamination from waste, Harassment from authorities, Lack of education & training, Lack of infrastructure & resources, Lack of tools, Negative attitude towards waste, Obtaining licenses, Price fluctuations of waste, Privatization, Transportation

Complementary Information

Information source
The information was provided by Shrenik Mutha on 19th January 2020 to the Secretariat of the Alliance of Indian Waste-pickers

Comments / Narrative

SWaCH Pune Seva Cooperative Society was established in 2007 as the first waste picker owned co-operative. It has stemmed from the grass-root mobilization work of the Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat, a registered trade union of informal waste-pickers having membership of more than 10,000. SWaCH’s 3800 waste picker members current collect waste from 800,000 properties across Pune. SWaCH holds a 5-year contract for doorstep collection of waste with the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) ending December 2020. The PMC covers administrative costs of the co-operative for coordinating collection service whilst waste pickers received their income from monthly user fees paid by citizens directly. Waste-pickers then segregate the recyclables from other dry waste, sort it finely and channelize it for recycling through scrap traders. The collected wet waste and non-recyclable waste is then taken by the municipality to one of their decentralized/centralized waste management plants or the landfill. This service effectively bridges the gap between households and municipal waste disposal services.