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Informal Waste-Pickers in Latin America: Sustainable and Equitable Solutions in the Dumps

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Part of the The Palgrave Series on Global Sustainability book series (GSB)

Abstract

This chapter discusses the present and future role of informal recycling in Latin America in contributing to countries’ sustainability objectives as well as to firms’ profitability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals. Considered one of the most undesirable of occupations, the task of sorting through and recycling refuse from city garbage dumps has undergone an important paradigm shift that has significantly affected the rules of the game for the “waste-pickers” or “scavengers” in many Latin American cities. Governments are increasingly aware that informal waste-pickers are providing a service that can and should be formalized. Private-public partnerships have developed as the civil sector (citizen groups and nongovernmental organizations or NGOs), the private sector (domestic and multinational enterprises), and the public sector (municipal and national governments) recognize the societal, environmental, and economic value of the waste-pickers’ work. An examination of various aspects of the informal recycling sector in Latin America leads to the conclusion that stakeholders can work together to devise innovative approaches for participatory solid waste management that contribute to a more sustainable and equitable world.

Keywords

  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Solid Waste
  • Municipal Solid Waste
  • Private Enterprise
  • Waste Collection

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© 2010 James A. F. Stoner and Charles Wankel

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Martinez, C.A. (2010). Informal Waste-Pickers in Latin America: Sustainable and Equitable Solutions in the Dumps. In: Stoner, J.A.F., Wankel, C. (eds) Global Sustainability as a Business Imperative. The Palgrave Series on Global Sustainability. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-230-11543-9_12

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