[Kiswahili] Strengthening Waste Picker Organising in Africa

Waste pickers from South Africa, Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, Morocco and Zambia have demonstrated the common need for official recognition from national and municipal governments, better working conditions, PPE, improved payment for their recovered materials and collection and processing service, and an end to social stigmatisation.

The experience of organising shows that these needs are achievable through building representative organisations that will ensure that their voices are heard in negotiations with governments and demonstrate their value to society.

This requires waste pickers to work collaboratively and embed the principles of democracy, equality and environmental justice in their organised structures. Furthermore, municipalities and national governments need to recognise the value that waste pickers play in diverting waste from the landfills, encouraging recycling where materials re-enter the economy and addressing poverty by providing an income for individuals that have been excluded from the formal economy.

In light of recent promotional statements from technology providers, governments, and academic and research institutions, this report looks at the proposed application of converting municipal waste into fuel, namely for gas turbine aircraft engines.

In a world where climate and waste crises are worsening at a staggering rate, the idea of turning waste into fuels might sound like a great solution. Companies like Fulcrum Bioenergy and Velocys have been catching media attention by claiming that they have developed a technology that can produce jet fuels from waste.

San Andrés es una isla colombiana con una economía se encuentra dominada por el comercio y el turismo. Como ocurre en otras islas, tiene problemas de sobrepoblación y de espacio para la disposición adecuada de los residuos generados por los residentes y visitantes. En los años 2000 nace la propuesta de una solución mágica: quemar los residuos y producir energía. Pero durante una década la costosa instalación de incineración no funcionó y los residuos continuaron acumulándose en el vertedero que ya estaba al límite.

Londrina é um município brasileiro localizado no estado do Paraná, na Região Sul do país, distante 381 km da capital do estado, Curitiba (ver Figura 1). A população de Londrina é de 575.377 habitantes. Londrina tem o posto de cidade mais populosa do interior do estado paranaense, e o município possui uma área de 1.652,569 km², com densidade populacional de 348,2 habitantes/km² (IBGE, 2020).

A presente pesquisa realizada em Maio e Junho de 2021, envolveu um levantamento de dados secundários (websites e relatórios) e dados primários coletados por via de entrevistas conduzidas de forma online com representantes do governo e da cooperativa Acácia. Araraquara é um município brasileiro localizado no interior do estado de São Paulo, na Região Sudeste do país, com população total de 238.339 habitantes, sendo que a maioria (229.361), ou seja 96% dos habitantes, vivem em zona urbana.

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. 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.

The rise of municipal solid waste incineration in China. The speedy industrialization and urbanization of China over the past three decades have produced signigicant challenges to the health of ecological systems. The unsustainable management of municipal solid waste (MSW) is one of those urgent challenges.

While it claims to be experimental and not commercial, the company behind the Usina Verde incinerator has been promoting large scale waste-to-energy incinerators uisng this plant as a model, ecen though the plant is not able to produce enough energy to meet its own needs.