Latin America’s Informal Recyclers Push for Recognition and Protection on International Waste Pickers’ Day

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

You may not know it, but in Latin America and the Caribbean alone, around 4 million people making their living as waste pickers, according to figures from the Regional Initiative for Inclusive Recycling (IRR). Every day, these men and women collect, select, retrieve and sell solid waste from primary sources, which could be private homes, commercial or industrial sites, or even collection centers such as landfills.

March 1 is International Waste Pickers’ Day. On this day, recyclers, as they are also called, seek to highlight the importance of the role they play as well as lobby governments for more protection and more inclusive waste management polices.

Recyclers make many contributions through their work, including creating jobs and reducing municipal spending on waste management, all of which has a positive impact on local economies. Recyclers also provide a valuable service that contributes to protecting the environment and public health.

Source: Global Voices (link opens in a new window)

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