Space for Waste Pickers in Solid Waste Management

A meeting of waste pickers from around the world was held in April of 2012 in India. Participants with common experiences were able to share their successes, strategies, challenges, ideas, and mutual support. This video highlights what was learned.

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A Beijing Recycler’s Life

This film about a couple who have collected recyclables in one community in Beijing for 20 years shows their life as collectors in the daytime and their work to sell the materials to the recycling market in the evening.

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We, SWaCH

This film show members of the informal waste workers’ organization, SWaCH, at work in Pune India.

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More Jobs, Less Pollution!

New report: More Jobs, Less Pollution shows how a 75% national recycling rate in the U.S. can create 1.5 million new, green jobs!

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CDM: Financing the Demise of Waste Worker Livelihood, Community Health, and Climate

Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) funding for incineration and landfills currently represents a lost opportunity to reduce pollution and help improve the welfare and standards of living of some of the poorest people in the world. Additionally, this funding incentivizes the destruction of valuable resources that would otherwise have been recovered with significant climate benefits. The following are a few examples of waste projects that have been approved or are being considered for CDM approval, and where there is growing community and waste worker opposition to the project.

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Respect for Recyclers: Protecting the Climate through Zero Waste

Reducing, reusing, and recycling municipal waste is one of the easiest and most effective means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It also provides gainful employment to millions of people in the developing world, mostly in the informal sector (“wastepickers”). Yet rather than supporting these efforts, climate funds such as the Clean Development Mechanism are subsidizing incinerators and landfill gas systems, which compete directly with recycling and increase emissions, unemployment, and public costs. A new, non-market, climate finance mechanism is needed to support the formalization and expansion of the informal recycling sector.

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Respect for Recyclers: Protecting the Climate through Zero Waste (Chinese)

Reducing, reusing, and recycling municipal waste is one of the easiest and most effective means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It also provides gainful employment to millions of people in the developing world, mostly in the informal sector (“wastepickers”). Yet rather than supporting these efforts, climate funds such as the Clean Development Mechanism are subsidizing incinerators and landfill gas systems, which compete directly with recycling and increase emissions, unemployment, and public costs. A new, non-market, climate finance mechanism is needed to support the formalization and expansion of the informal recycling sector.

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Garbage Dreams

GARBAGE DREAMS, winner of 18 awards follows three teenage boys growing up in the world’s largest garbage village, on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt. This film provides a penetrating look into their lives and their community, where tradition is clashing with globalization – a window into one of the world’s hidden populations, the wastepickers.

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groundWork: Reclaiming Livelihoods – A Report on Wastepickers

This report focuses on the contributions of reclaimers to social and environmental sustainability. It explores the work that reclaimers do, how they use salvaging of commodities from the waste stream as a way to support themselves, and how they are being affected by municipal waste management policies.

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A Community Guide to Environmental Health

This highly illustrated guide from the Hesperian Foundation helps health promoters, development workers, environmental activists, and community leaders take charge of their environmental health.

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