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Theme: Informal Economy
Occupational Group(s): Waste Pickers
By Sanchez, Dana.

South Africa’s 60,000-to-90,000 waste pickers save the country up to $53 million a year diverting recyclables away from landfills, and there are efforts to organize them and encourage them to form unions.

Night and day, thousands of waste pickers – people who gather, sort, reuse and sell the materials others throw away – toiled on the 100-acre mound of festering rubbish. Families fashioned homes from rubbish, on top of rubbish. They ate rubbish, fought over it – and even died over it.

By Davies, Caroline.

Despite the growing intolerance Copts face in Egypt, they are finding great success in the country's recycling business.

By Escalante, Shirley.

It may be one of the most unattractive sources of livelihood, but scavenging through garbage is what has provided Richard Lluz and his family with a better life. 

India City ragpicker to world: Treat us like any other worker. The Times of India . (22 August 2016)

She set foot in an airport and took a flight for the first time. "I didn't know about pilots at all. All this while I thought planes fly into the sky by themselves. I was so scared," said Indira Raj, a ragpicker from Bengaluru who attended a meet organized by the Women in Informal Employment Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) in Indonesia between July 25 and 27.

By Arora, Kabir.

Indira, a waste picker from Bangalore, made a passionate plea to world governments for recognizing the contributions of waste pickers during an event organized on the sidelines of United Nations (UN) Habitat III Prepcom at Surabaya, Indonesia. She asked that governments recognize waste pickers in the New Urban Agenda, the outcome document set to emerge at the Habitat III cities conference in October 2016. 

United States of America Collecting cans to survive: a 'dark future' as California recycling centers vanish The Guardian . (8 August 2016)
By Wong, Julia Carrie.

Poor and homeless San Franciscans rely on income earned by trading cans for cash, but their subsistence is under threat as hundreds of centers close down.

By Rosengren, Cole.

(Sonia) Dias sees potential for catadores (waste pickers) to be more involved in educating their fellow citizens about the value of recyclable materials and the need for proper disposal. Though making this happen beyond the Olympics may be a challenge.

India Meet The Real Swachh Warriors NDTV . (31 July 2016)
By Singh, Ambika.

They are the sewage workers, sweepers, rag-pickers who work on low wages, suffer stigma and for whom each day at work involves risking their lives through daily exposure to toxic material which surrounds them.

South Africa Recyclers Say How Their Lives Could Be Made Easier. All Africa . (29 July 2016)
By Gontsana, Mary-Anne.

Waste pickers in Khayelitsha ask for designated landfills. "As waste pickers is difficult... because we do not have landfills designated for us and our work," she says. "We have to do our work in our yards and our neighbours are starting to complain, saying that we attract rats to their yards and houses."