Inclusion of waste pickers in Zero Waste programs: the case of Buenos Aires City

“Recycling without recyclers is garbage”. This phrase, which echoes throughout waste picker or “informal recycler” organizations in Latina America and The Caribbean, is essential when it comes to planning any waste management policy in a region which has around 4 million people working in the collection and processing of recyclable materials. Today, the region has many examples of waste picker inclusion in municipal management programs. They are the result of decades of struggle, organizing, dialogue and conflict. This publication is not aimed to deepen those processes, but references are provided for readers who want to examine further. The objective of this case study is to show these examples and to offer tools to those seeking to design Zero Waste policies in contexts in which informal waste pickers exist.

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