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Title: Emerging trends in informal sector recycling in developing and transition countries

Highlights: • Reviewed emerging trends in Informal Sector Recycling (ISR) in developing countries. • In some countries we found that ISR is the key factor in the recycling of waste materials. • Overall impact of ISR upon the urban economy and environment is positive. • In some instances ISR subsidises large areas of the formal sector. • Ignoring the informal sector could result in unsustainable interventions. - Abstract: Optimistic estimates suggest that only 30–70% of waste generated in cities of developing countries is collected for disposal. As a result, uncollected waste is often disposed of into open dumps, along the streets or into water bodies. Quite often, this practice induces environmental degradation and public health risks. Notwithstanding, such practices also make waste materials readily available for itinerant waste pickers. These ‘scavengers’ as they are called, therefore perceive waste as a resource, for income generation. Literature suggests that Informal Sector Recycling (ISR) activity can bring other benefits such as, economic growth, litter control and resources conservation. This paper critically reviews trends in ISR activities in selected developing and transition countries. ISR often survives in very hostile social and physical environments largely because of negative Government and public attitude. Rather than beingmore » stigmatised, the sector should be recognised as an important element for achievement of sustainable waste management in developing countries. One solution to this problem could be the integration of ISR into the formal waste management system. To achieve ISR integration, this paper highlights six crucial aspects from literature: social acceptance, political will, mobilisation of cooperatives, partnerships with private enterprises, management and technical skills, as well as legal protection measures. It is important to note that not every country will have the wherewithal to achieve social inclusion and so the level of integration must be ‘flexible’. In addition, the structure of the ISR should not be based on a ‘universal’ model but should instead take into account local contexts and conditions.« less
Authors:
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22300327
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Waste Management; Journal Volume: 33; Journal Issue: 11; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2013 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; DEVELOPING COUNTRIES; ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT; ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION; HEALTH HAZARDS; LEGAL ASPECTS; PUBLIC HEALTH; PUBLIC OPINION; RECYCLING; SOLID WASTES; URBAN AREAS; WASTE MANAGEMENT