The Informal Waste Economy and Migration: Thematic session

In many countries around the world informal waste pickers are part of the collection and recycling chain of waste. They cover a wide array of activities, from waste collection (solid and human waste), to street sweeping, sorting, recycling and recovery. Informal recycling activities are usually based on either separate collection from households or extraction of recyclable materials from the general waste stream - during collection, transfer or directly from the disposal site. The recovered materials are cleaned and then passed on for reuse, recycling or recovery. These steps are carried out by different people, creating an additional waste value chain.

Therefore, due to the informal sector, a significant portion of waste is collected and recycled at no direct financial cost to cities. Furthermore, through its activities the informal sector contributes to the extension of landfill lifespan, provides material for the global recycling industry and increases the quality of life in the areas the waste pickers work in. They are responsible for half to all of waste collection services in low-income countries, and for up to 45 percent of material recycling out of the total waste generated1 (which often amounts to all recycling and recovery in a city). In temporary settlements, where migrants often live, waste collection and management is a very important service. Raising awareness about waste reduction is an important contribution cities can make towards the migrant as well as the resident population.

Informal waste operations are mostly prevalent in cities in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. In most of these regions, vulnerable groups, such as women, children, elderly, unemployed and migrants, represent the majority of informal waste workers. Although they comprise less than one percent of the urban workforce, estimates suggest that worldwide more than 15 million people earn their living through informal waste management activities. However, reliable statistics on the topic are missing, also due to the itinerant and seasonal nature of the work.

Although the informal sector contributes hugely to collection and recycling activities, its added value is still not acknowledged in many cities around the world and waste pickers are frequently ignored or harassed. As a result, they are often work (and live) in unhealthy conditions resulting in, for example, respiratory diseases, such as chronic bronchitis and asthma. The first step to prevent harassment, violations and personal attacks, as well as facilitating access to health services, is the recognition of waste-picking as dignified work. For this reason, two of the twelve principles of sustainable waste management promoted by UN-Habitat’s Waste Wise Cities Campaign and its members address the issues of empowering waste workers, their integration in the formal economy and the establishment of better working conditions for them.

An important step towards the integration of waste workers has been the formation of waste pickers’  cooperatives on a local, regional and global scale. By organizing themselves and speaking with one voice, waste pickers can interact in a more cohesive manner with for example local governments and become part of planning processes.

In recent years, technology has played an increasingly important role in supporting the work of the informal waste sector. Mobile applications, can connect waste generators, who need to dispose of their waste but have no access to regular waste collection, to waste collection service providers, who earn their livelihoods by collecting waste and preparing it for recycling. Another recent trend is to address two challenges at once, by actively engaging migrants (either newly arrived or returnees to their home country) into waste management activities. Examples include migrants turning waste into wealth on the Italian island of Sicily2 and Ivorian returnees contributing to waste collection

The Informal Waste Economy and Migration: Thematic session

Events Around the World

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Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of

Foro donde los coordinadores de las mesas de Ciudad y Territorio, Espacio Público, Equipamiento Urbano, Movilidad y Vivienda, del Ãrea de Infraestructura del Pl

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Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of

Presentacion de propuestas del Plan PaIs en las Areas de Vivienda, Espacio Publico,

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United States of America

The summit is a discussion around topics such as affordable housing policies, community inclusion and how to transform our lives through innovative urban design.

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Myanmar

World Habitat Day 2019 was celebrated at Hlaing Thar Yar, a township that houses 181 informal settlements out of 423 that Yangon has.

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Lebanon

The Urban Symposium will be held on 31 October 2019 to observe World Cities Day of this year entitled Changing the World: Innovations and a Better Life for Futur

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Ethiopia

Celebration of the Urban October in Ethiopia

Concept Note


1. Introduction

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United States of America

Kicking off Archtober activities, the NYC Mayor's Office and Building Energy Exchange held a meeting to discuss the new Local Laws 92 and 94, which require all n

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Guinea Bissau

On October 7, in celebration of the World Habitat Day, the UN-Habitat Office in Guinea-Bissau in partnership with IP9 Institute hosted the “Urban Cinema” event.

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Pakistan

Activity was divided into 5 parts:
1. Discussion about Use of Plastic bags 
2. Role of Children to Make Environment Better

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India

The basic aim of this event is to diminish cultural hatred related issue, and for achieving the solution of this issue we developed a unique & scientific theory which is practical and result or

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Spain

Se llevarán materiales de difusion (principalmente digitales o impresos en material reciclado) para compartir de iniciativas y experiencias mexicanas de interés para la implementación local de l

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United States of America

It may be time for urbanists to call this era of the megadevelopment.

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United States of America

This one of a kind annual conference brings together building industry thought leaders, future architects, and shining stars of the design, real estate, planning and construction industries under o

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United States of America

This unique circumnavigation of the island of Manhattan will explore green infrastructure designed to both restore the health and productivity of the region’s marine ecology and to create resilie

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United States of America

Architecture & Design Film Festival (ADFF), the nation’s largest film festival devoted to the creative spirit of architecture and design, will launch its 2019/2020 season during Archtober.

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United States of America

This book evaluates the impact of 20 years of urban policies in six Latin American countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Mexico.

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United States of America

Symposium on Women and Children/Girls Experiencing Homelessness/Displacement

Name of Organization: UNANIMA International

Country:
United States of America

Affiliated with UN Habitat and the United Nations, the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization (CSU) assists in implementing the New Urban Agenda, the UN’s declaration on sustainable cities and U

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United States of America

Current construction practices lead to buildings with short lifespans made from products that contain a range of toxic chemicals, whose toxic afterlives can span millennia, that pollute our homes a

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Spain

WORKSHOP
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS FOR SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES

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Spain

To provide a general overview of the new scenario emerging of urban issues in Spanish city policy making associated with the forthcoming European programming period 2021-2027

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United States of America

Rahul Mehrota will be joined in conversation with Filiep Decorte, followed by a response from guest provocateur Deen Sharp.

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United States of America

Discussion Topics:
ï‚· UN-Habitat Strategic Plan 2020-2023
ï‚· U.S. Government Priorities for Global Urban Policy and UN-Habitat

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United States of America

Across the world cities are trying to tackle the increasing health impacts from air pollution an urban heat island effect.

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Kenya

It is an event that uses hip hop as a curriculum of rhythm to describe spaces that the community would like to live in. Hip Hop Architecture is created by the community for the community.

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United States of America

Take a ride through the living history of the world’s largest rapid transit system (in area) by weaving in and out of the past and present transit hubs of lower Manhattan.

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India

Mr.Rakesh Kumar Lecture of Geography was addressed on Habits of world.Mr. R. Kumar told about how to protect animals and trees to school students..

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Philippines

In line with this year's theme for World Migratory Bird Day (Protect Birds:  Be the Solution to Plastic Pollution), the EAAFP theme for 2019-2020 (Flyways – Connecting People and Migratory Waterb

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India

Fabulous start to 150th Gandhi Jayanti in Delhi this morning doing plastic waste shramdaan with the energetic and inspiring Leaders, Rovers and Rangers of #BSG and WWF-india team !

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Colombia

Hay historias que merecen ser contadas más de una vez, y es por esa razón que queremos invitarlos al re-lanzamiento de este documental donde de la mano de grandes actores en el barrio Moravia rec

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Philippines

Location: Pasig City, Philippines

Date: October 7, 2019

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Costa Rica

This 23rd and 24th of October, the Center for Urban Sustainability and Low Carbon City are pleased to invite you to the fourth Low Carbon City World Forum.

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Cameroon

The Ministry of Housing and Development with the support of UN-Habitat will be celebrating World Habitat Day Week.

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Sweden

Swedish Union of Tenants are inviting to celebration of Habitat Day.
The United Nations has designated the first Monday of October of every year as World Habitat Day.since 1985.

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Nepal

The Swayambhu World Heritage Site sits atop a hill which means that years of improper waste management has weakened the hill’s soil structure and made it susceptible to erosion.

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Kazakhstan

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Mayor’s Office of Nur-Sultan will be organizing the 8th UNWTO Global Summit on Urban Tourism in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan on 9-12 October 2019, under t

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Spain

World Cities Day will be hosted in conjunction with a science program organised by the City Council of Barcelona, that focuses on educating and promoting scientific innovation and sharing the of kn

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Kenya

Plogging on 12th October in a selected street in Nairobi's CBD. Plogging is a combination of jogging with picking up litter (Swedish: plocka upp).

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Spain

Any person or group may participate in Entreplanos3, since no specialized training in architecture, urban planning or audiovisual is required, and only a 2-minute video recorded with the mobile pho

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Philippines

City: Manila and Angeles City

Type of Activity: Dialogue / Design Exchange

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Mexico

In many countries around the world informal waste pickers are part of the collection and recycling chain of waste.

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Mexico

More than 80% of the world’s economic activities are concentrated in urban areas, making cities, by far the

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Japan

Urban October in Fukuoka started on 1 October with the exhibition at Fukuoka Prefecture Lobby.

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India

WHD celebration with the attendance of Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs.

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Thailand

WHD celebration with the attendance of Deputy Prime Minister on 10 October 2019

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Bangladesh

WHD celebration with the attendance of President of Bangladesh;

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Pakistan

WHD will be celebrated under the leadership of Ministry of Climate Change and Islamabad’s Argentina Park as a model park under Clean and Green Pakistan Movement which will be declared b

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Chile

EN EL MARCO DE LA XXI BIENAL DE ARQUITECTURA Y URBANISMO DE CHILE - 2019, QUE SE REALIZARÁ EN EL PAÍS DURANTE EL MES DE OCTUBRE, EL COMITÉ DE DESARROLLO URBANO Y TERRITORIAL (CDUT) DEL COLEGIO DE A

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Switzerland

Events during the UNECE Sustainable Cities Week 2019 will discuss progress and challenges related to the implementation of recent international agreements such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable De

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China

Urbanization processes shape large areas of the world, while the revitalization of rural regions has been neglected for a long time.

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Kenya

The Bike Train was launched in Nairobi on 22 March 2019. Since then, monthly bike trains were organised towards the United Nations campus in Nairobi.

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Sweden

Uppsala Health Summit is an international arena where delegates participate in solution-oriented dialogues in workshops, inspired by keynote presentations and debates in plenary sessions.

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India

Telengana Regional Chapter of Institute of Town Planners, India is releasing the poster and distribution to governmental and non-governmental organizations across the Nation.

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United Arab Emirates

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the United Arab Emirates Hosts the Third Arab Forum for H

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Kenya

Kenya’s Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development and the C

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Rwanda

Africa’s greatest resource is arguably its nearly 420 million youth. Yet, this tremendous asset is relatively untapped.

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Spain

We propose to do an activity in which to put all the creativity of the children and their families at the service of the rehabilitation and we will use to celebrate two major events: Commemoration

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Botswana

Botswana joins the international community in celebrating World Habitat Day.

Name of Organization: Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing Development

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Spain

The event is oriented to explore the trends of the habitat sector and share our experience to contribute to the progress of the companies and organizations that integrate.

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Canada

Ecocity World Summit is the longest-standing international conference that addresses building cities in balance with nature.

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Switzerland

World Habitat Day on 7 October is a moment to reflect on the state of our towns and cities, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter.

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Philippines

Trash Talk is an avenue to stir up conversations on waste management issues in the Philippines.

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Russian Federation

The United Nations General Assembly designated every 31st October as World Cities Day (WCD).

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Mexico

World Habitat Day, observed on the first Monday of October each year, supports UN-Habitat’s mission towards transformative change in cities and human settlements – to leave no one and no place behi