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Presentation on theme: "IF IT AIN’T BROKE DON’T FIX IT Anne Scheinberg, WASTE,"— Presentation transcript:


2 Zero Waste meets the Global Informal Recycling Sector T his presentation is a work-in-process. Citations are permitted and should state this. Thanks to Reka Soos, Michael Simpson, and Bharati Chaturvedi for suggestions in this version, and to Sandra Cointreau at the World Bank for posting an earlier version on their website. Thanks also to GTZ and the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, BMZ, for funding the study: “Economic Aspects of the Informal Sector In Solid Waste” in 2006-2007. Additional suggestions are actively invited, please send them to.

3 Welcome! 1.A short personal introduction 2.Organisation of this presentation a.Informal recovery and recycling b.“Economic aspects of the the global informal sector in solid waste”* c.Zero Waste and the Informal Sector: Insurmountable opportunity? 3.Resources 4.Questions and discussion

4 Part 1. Informal recovery -- a part of urban life for centuries supports women, men an children: in rural areas as gleaning, in urban areas in the form of informal recycling, referred to as rag picking or waste picking or scavenging. a source of livelihood to groups with limited access to the formal labour market few barriers to entry for: attracts internal or international migrants, specific ethnic or social groups, low castes, landless peasants Those who could survive the working conditions, could earn a reasonable living for their families and benefit their cities. Info drawn from GTZ/CWG 2007, ILO 2004, and Scheinberg, Mitrovic and Post 2007

5 Waste picking represents: 1.the foundation of most -- if not all -- recycling activity prior to the modernisation process 2.the bottom layer of activity in the so-called secondary materials pyramid, also called the “recycling supply chain” 3.a global phenomenon with predictable characteristics 4.a rational -- even strategic -- choice of livelihood for disadvantaged groups -- internal migrants, ethnic or religious minorities, women heads of household, illiterate or uneducated persons 5.maybe the most misunderstood global phenomenon

6 Informals are private entrepreneurs 1.Members of the informal sector in solid waste and recycling are private sector entrepreneurs. 2.Informal recycling offers a livelihood and income which they could not otherwise manage to achieve. 3.The informal sector – in contrast with municipal cleansing companies or recycling programmes – only engages in “profitable” activities.

7 Commodities- or service-based economic activities. 1.Commodities-based activities a.focus on finding, possessing, upgrading, and trading (or in some cases using) materials and items. b.are paid for according to the weight, volume, or number of units of what is recovered, traded, used. 2.Service-based activities a.focus on doing something which someone or some institution values. b.(almost) always involve some kind of removal –dirt, contaminants, excreta, waste, water, etc. c.are paid based on a time measure of labour, in the informal sector often but not always days -- d.or other service units, like metres of curb cleaned or number of households served.

8 Part 2. “Economic aspects of the the global informal sector in solid waste”* The study was based on research done by an international team, including six city partners, who looked in detail at: 1.six cities in varying states of modernisation, with populations ranging from 380.000 to 17 million 2.the movement of materials through formal and informal solid waste and recycling processes 3.efficiency and effectiveness of formal and informal recycling and organics recovery 4.the operational, social, economic, and environmental impacts of informal activities 5.relationships between formal and informal solid waste activities in six cities * The GTZ/CWG Study 2007,

9 Six study cities, six local partners with informal sector contacts / waste focus 1.Cairo, Egypt -- CID 2.Cluj-Napoca, Romania -- Green Partners 3.Lima, Peru -- IPES 4.Lusaka, Zambia -- Riverine Associates 5.Pune, India -- KKPKP (Union of waste pickers) 6.Quezon City (part of Metro Manila), the Philippines -- SWAPP (solid waste association)

10 Process Flow of Cluj, Romania

11 Six Study Cities, pop 32 million, have 75,000 informals CityPopulationPeople in the Informal Sector Cairo, Egypt17,620,58040.000 Cluj, Romania380,0003.200 Lima, Peru7,765,18111.200 Lusaka, Zambia1,238,227390 Pune, India3,000,0009.500 Quezon City, Philippines 2,247,09810.100

12 Dump pickers, Vietnam

13 Solid waste in the cities Citytpyresidential tpy tons to formal percent recycled tons to informal percent recycled Cairo3,454,99 6 2,865,378810,66745%2,567,14284% Cluj194,458163,085145,7796%14,575100% Lima2,725,42 4 1,956,2281,839,7110.5%848,36462% Lusaka301,840245,99690,72013%98,1706% Pune544,215369,745394,2000%132,13089% Quezon City, 623,380380,261489,6063%141,831100%

14 Informal sector in the six cities CityTonnes recycled/yr People in the Informal Sector Cairo, Egypt2.162.50040.000 Cluj, Romania14.7003.200 Lima, Peru529.40011.200 Lusaka, Zambia5.400390 Pune, India117.9009.500 Quezon City, Philippines 141.80010.100

15 Informal Sector occupations IWBs (IWCs in SEE, CRs in India) Street and container pickers Truck and collection crew pickers Dump pickers Mobile traders Small junk shops Medium junk shops Swine feeding operations

16 Itinerant waste buyer, Pakistan

17 Recycling in the Formal Sector Collection crews Medium and large junk shops Intermediate processors Brokers MRFs and IPCs End-users and mills Composting facilities

18 Distribution of main occupations by % CityDump pickers Street pickers IWBsInformal collectors/ ISPs/truck pickers Cairo, Egypt<1% 71% Cluj, Romania 27%73%-- Lima, Peru6%57%16%1% Lusaka, Zambia 47%31%-** Pune, India3%26%17%11% Quezon City, Philippines 26%37%**18%

19 Informal sector and recycling industry CityTonnes recycled/ yr Informal sector €/day as % of min wage annual sales to recycling industry* Cairo, Egypt2.162.50 0 €4.30(no min wage) €26,337,000 Cluj, Romania14.700€6.28140%€2,462,000 Lima, Peru529.400€5.40110%€55,678,000 Lusaka, Zambia 5.400€6.52280%€471,000 Pune, India117.900€2.80240%€15,381,000 Quezon City, Philippines 141.800€6.2690%€7,077,000 * includes all activity in the supply chain per city

20 Scrap metal market, Eritrea

21 The Recycling Supply Chain-theory Households separation Dumpsite waste picking Businesses/Institutions separation Street pickers waste picking Itinerant waste buyers (IWBs) collection Small junkshops separation/temporary storage Larger junk shops/processors sorting/cleaning/compacting Recycling Industry Domestic Recycling Industry Export

22 And Practice Small junk shop metal Small junk shop glass-plastic Mixed junk shop at dump IWBs, street pickers, dump pickers, waste crews Plastic sheet molder Glass cullet processor Small junk shop paper Generators: Households, businesses, dumpsites, transfer stations Small junk shop mixed large paper high- grader, broker, exporter broker non- ferrous metals dealer (all materials) dealer (all materials) plastics regrinder Specialised bottle washer End-user boxboard mill end-user re-alloy can sheet intermediate processor commingled large junk shop all metals end user glass mill, fiberglass end user glass mill, fiberglass end-user tissue and towel mill end-user electric-arc furnace End-user industries Small junk shop other

23 Main conclusions - 1* 1.Most recycling in the developing/transitional world is initiated by tiny private businesses in the informal sector, also true until the 1970s and 1980s in most OECD countries. 2.These tiny businesss are risk-loving, highly entrepreneurial, and impenetrable to those outside the sector. 2.The global informal sector recycles millions of tons, putting materials into the recycling supply chain and supporting billions of people. 3.Informal sector workers often earn at least twice the legal minimum wage in their countries, but this may be the product of the work of more than one family member. * ILO 2004, GTZ/CWG study (2007) & IFC Serbia (2007)

24 City of Diadema, Brazil contracts the informal sector to collect recyclables Brazilian President Lula shows his support to the informal sector and encourages decision makers to recognise their value and use their professional expertise (2005)

25 Main conclusions - 2* 4.There are many connections between the formal and informal recycling sector in all countries: informal sector workers accompany trucks, work at dumpsites, or empty containers. Formal sector workers “moonlight” selling recyclables or working for private (informal) collectors and recyclers. 5.Formal and informal sector are often ‘natural partners’, as materials pass back and forth between these sectors in the recycling chain.: formal workers sell materials to informal junk shops, informal sector workers get their materials from formal disposal facilities. 6.Socio-cultural biases often interfere with the efficiency of this economic partnership. This tendency is exacerbated when there arer differences of religion, ethnicity, or when the informal sector consists of migrants. * ILO 2004, GTZ/CWG study (2007) & IFC Serbia (2007)

26 Main conclusions - 3* 7.Without the informal sector, recycling is a much more difficult and expensive business. 8.Informal recycling activities, are efficient and low- cost -- and intensify during the economic crisis. 9.Formal recycling initiatives have a tendency to be over-capitalised and to recover very small quantities 10.In contrast, informal recycling is under-capitalised and recovers very large volumes. 11.It is therefore critical for you-- the Zero Waste Dialogue, to promote and engage with the private recycling sector -- both informal and formal -- rather than only supporting new, unfair, inefficient parallel “new” recycling initiatives * ILO 2004, GTZ/CWG study (2007) & IFC Serbia (2007)

27 Part 3. Zero Waste and the Informal Sector: Insurmountable opportunity? 1.find networks or intermediary organisations and institutions working with informal sector leaderc with these intermediaries to engage the informal sector in a consultative, participatory process as part of the baseline assessment or situation analysis 3.engage with the capacities and professional identity of the informal sector, rather than their social problems 4.focus “help and support” on strengthening capacities of informal stakeholders to analyse their own operations

28 Muncipality supports informal collectors of recyclables in Lima, Peru

29 Working with the Informal Sector-2 5.Always engage waste pickers and informals as part of campaigns, stakeholder processes, EIAs 6.Critically evaluate your and your city’s approach to recycling as presented in consulting documents, investment plans, and/or municipal solid waste plans. Insist recycling plans should include and integrate the informal sector, rather than disenfranchising them and creating parallel systems 7.Encourage the development and testing of specific and practical strategies for supporting and encouraging local authorities and their agents to protect materials access and create new service opportunities for informals 8.Document experiments and evaluate their reasonableness, feasibility, sustainability, and cost-effectiveness 9.Analyse informal recovery and include the materials handled in all discussions and calculations on the way to Zero Waste

30 Pune Municipality offers medical insurance to waste pickers “A city agrees to pay medical bills of those who clean it up: Pune, India offers medical insurance to its informal ragpickers”

31 Part 4. Some resources The Collaborative Working Group on Solid Waste Management in low- and middle-income countries: (and the informal sector network) WASTE, Advisers on Urban Environment -- and coming soon, a new portal Chintan-Environmental, Delhi, India

32 “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” -- an explanation. Thank-you. Questions are welcome!

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