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Theme: Informal Economy
Occupational Group(s): Waste Pickers
Region(s): Brazil ; Latin America & Caribbean
By Thornett, Robert.

Curitiba calls EcoCitizen co-op members environmental "caregivers" and provides them with a modern warehouse, a city uniform and tools such as paper shredders, balers, digital scales, trash compactors and forklifts. Working out of the 19 co-op warehouses, member teams remain autonomous, operating like small independent businesses paid to both receive and process recyclables.

Brazil Brazil leads aluminium can recycling Aluminium International Today . (14 December 2015)
By Firth, Nadine.

In 2014 alone, collecting aluminium beverage cans injected R$ 845 million in country's economy, thus contributing to generating income and jobs for thousands of waste pickers.

Brazil Women waste pickers receive certificate after gender training The Guardian Witness . (17 April 2015)
By Dias, Sonia.

The Network WIEGO (www.wiego.org) partnered with the National Waste Pickers Movement of Brazil and other organizations to tackle gender issues. The Gender and Waste Project seeks to understand the dimensions of gender discrimination women waste pickers face (1) at home, (2) at work, and (3) as leaders within their networks and in the movement.

Brazil How colorful carts are helping waste workers get noticed (video) Global Envision . (2 February 2015)
By Alaimo, Beth.

Informal waste workers in Brazil were being ignored, despite their vital work keeping Sao Paulo clean. Enter a street artist who made their carts into works of art.

Brazil Striking gold -at a rubbish dump BBC Brasil . (20 January 2015)
By Nidecker, Fernanda.

The closure of Latin America's biggest rubbish dump in 2012 was widely applauded. But little more than two years on, many of the rubbish-pickers who worked there are sorry it's gone, and poorer without it.

Brazil Life amid the trash of a Rio dump The Guardian . (19 January 2015)
By Watts, Jonathan.

Rio de Janeiro's Gramacho waste tip -the setting for new film Trash- is a toxic, dangerous home to 5,000 people. Three rubbish-pickers explain how they scrape a living there.

Brazil MTV Pimps Cars, Brazil Pimps Trash Carts NPR . (17 January 2015)
By Poon, Linda.

The carts that garbage pickers wheel down the streets of Sao Paulo often look as if they came from the Museum of Funky Art. Colorful cartoon faces -with bulging eyes, flared nostrils and thick lips- peer from the sides of the metal and wooden carts.

Brazil ASU Energy Center to help improve life for Brazil's catadores Mountain Times . (30 July 2014)

A community-based landfill gas project in Brazil piloted in 2009 by the Appalachian Energy Center located at Appalachian State University will soon become reality.

Other activities mandated by Brazil's Operational Plan for Environment and Sustainability included programmes fostering sustainable tourism, organic food production and family farming, as well as promoting the social inclusion of "waste pickers".

By Wiens, Kyle.

"By the time the global sports event (World Cup) ends on July 13, experts estimate that World Cup spectators will generate a staggering 320 tons of trash. Enter the catadores—waste pickers who earn a living by collecting recyclables from the nation’s trash heap, men and women who will dig through the garbage and pick out each aluminum can, plastic bottle, and glass container. And while their jobs may seem humble, their sweat and solidarity are helping to transform Brazil into a true world power in recycling."

This article includes the history and current situation of waste pickers and includes an interview with WIEGO's Waste Picker Sector Specialist, Sonia Dias.