Environmental Affairs hosts National Waste Pickers Integration Workshop in Pretoria, 9 Apr

The Department of Environmental Affairs, in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology will host the National Waste Pickers Integration Workshop in Pretoria.

Waste pickers collect 80 – 90% of post-consumer packaging and paper recycled in South Africa and save municipalities up to R750 million in landfill airspace each year. For many years waste pickers have been the ‘missing link’ who remove recyclables from the waste stream and supply them to the recycling industry. The have played an important role in South Africa achieving a recycling rate equal to many European countries.

In line with the intentions of the Good Green Deed programme, South Africa has prioritised increasing the recycling rate to strengthen the recycling economy, and to include waste pickers in the process.

The workshop will provide insight into waste pickers, their work and contribution in the waste management sector. Findings of the Lessons from Waste Pickers Integration Initiatives research project conducted by the University of the Witwatersrand funded by government will be presented during the workshop.

The workshop will also give a breakdown of the draft national guidelines on waste pickers integration developed by key stakeholders in the sector. The guidelines explain what waste pickers integration entail and present different approaches to integration, while also providing practical guidance to municipalities and industry on how to integrate waste pickers.

Source: Government of South Africa