By Rosengren, Cole.
The Mutiara Trash Bank in Makassar, Indonesia is seen as a leading example of the expanding "trash banking" system. The country has 2,800 trash banks in 129 cities which serve 175,000 people.
A recent report by the organization Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing found government involvement makes a big difference in the lives of waste pickers. That could mean trash banks, grants for supportive programs or payment agreements with municipalities. In many cases people are already doing this work — which has environmental and social benefits.