Enhancing Income of Invisible Environmentalist (Waste pickers) by Sadia Jafrin, Amina Azad
This project will help to enhance the income of waster pickers by establishing PET bottle collecting hub where they can directly sell PET.
Summary / Résumé
Waste pickers are an informal group of people engaged in searching, sorting, processing & selling of municipal waste for their livelihood. Scavenging is a free occupation and way of self-employment of the poor people especially children and women from the poorest section of urban population in Bangladesh. Currently around 450,000 people live on scavenging in Bangladesh.It is estimated that nearly 100,000 waste pickers work in Dhaka alone. It employs women and children and waste picking children in Dhaka are popularly known as ‘tokai’. As the beneficial friends of urban environment now theses waste pickers are the main contributor in a national recycling business of 50 million USD. Business of waste collection, recycling requires lots of efforts by the waste pickers & all these tasks are done at the cost of huge human sufferings & risks of health hazards of the poor waste pickers. Waste pickers are the main actor for reducing, reusing and recycling of the waste for the national interest. Approximately 85000 MT PET bottle are discarded annually. Waste pickers collect whatever goods they find and sell them off to small road side collecting waste shop at a very low price. Afterwards, these shops sell off the collected goods to large wholesale shops or factories at higher price. So the invisible environmentalists are exploiting by the middle men. So we will establish 3 hubs for the waste pickers. Through these hubs the waste pickers are able to enhance their income and improve their livelihood. By eliminating price discrimination and setting up collection hubs (going to waste-pickers physically), exploitation by middlemen are now reduced. By paying 2-3x higher than current rates and introducing no child-labor policies, we can help bring fairness to the supply chain that is contaminated by exploitation, especially that of children. This is unique approach taken by us to increase the collection and also to bring fairness into the chain of recycling.
What actions do you propose? / Quelles actions proposez-vous?
1. To set up a social venture which will help the invisible environmentalists (Waste pickers) to enhance their income.
2. It is possibly by improving the segregation method of goods collected by waste pickers.
3. This increases the value of goods collected by many folds.
4. The hubs will purchases the PET bottles at wholesale prices from the waste pickers.
5. Other goods such as papers, card boards, cans, wires, glass and other plastic products can be segregated and sold to local shops, giving a much better value for money than before.
Which types of stakeholders are involved, in which way? / Quels types de parties prenantes sont impliqués, de quelle façon?
1. The supervisors of the hubs will maintain all the processes by which the waste pickers will sell their products directly to the hubs.
2. The waste pickers are the main stake holders because they will sell off their products.
3. The land lords from whom we will rent the place to establish the hubs.
4. The Waste pickers family who will get the benefit from this project.
How could the actions be scaled up at the neighborhood or city level? / Comment serait-il possible d'augmenter la portée des actions à l'échelle des quartiers ou de la ville?
We believe that segregation of recyclable objects in the sorting site will increase the value of theses goods by a large length. Improper segregation methods lead to wastage of valuable resources. With proper recycling solutions, we can not only reduce carbon footprint but also increase the income of waste pickers alike. The bottlenecks to the implementation of this plan are the lack of sorting site. A piece land is required for this. It will be the meeting point for waste pickers to come and sell their goods in a more efficient manner and earn better income from it.
Now a single waste picker earn 50 USD monthly. But If we can run these hub properly the income of waste picker will be 180 USD monthly. See the big difference between 50 and 180 USD.
So we are planning to establish only 3 hubs which will cover maximum 9 areas from where the waste pickers will come to sell off their wastes. Minimum 150 waste pickers are working in theses areas. So we will be able to increase the income of 100 waste pickers at very beginning of our project. 100 families will be benefited from this project. The QALY of these waste pickers will be improved.
After 5 years we are projecting that we will be able to establish at least 50 hubs across Bangladesh. Then we will be able to cover 1600 waste pickers.
The SROI is will be more than 3.5 at the very beginning of the project. But in future it will be higher.
The productivity will be increased due to proper segregation of waste in the hub. Lot of time will be saved and health safety will be increased.
What impact will these actions have on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change? / Quels impacts auront ces actions sur la réduction des émissions de gaz à effet de serre et l'adaptation aux changements climatiques?
We are projecting that this projects will be able to diverting 40,000 m3 of used PET bottles from getting dumped into the soil/river/drain and reducing 5808 tons of Green House gas emissions every year.
What are the other environmental, economic or social benefits? / Quels sont les autres bénéfices environnementaux, économiques et sociaux?
When the waste pickers will be able to enhance their income the standard of their life will be improved very naturally. Child education and women health will be ensured by their income. The environment will be saved due to proper waste management and scavenging. The rivers and landfills will be clearer than now.
Carbon, climate and culture are very much interlinked because when they waste pickers will be able to increase their income their life style and behavior that means culture will be automatically changed. And carbon will be definitely reduced by collecting waste properly.
What are the most innovative aspects and main strengths of this approach? / Quels sont les aspects novateurs et les principales forces de cette approche?
We will set up 3 collection hub in Dhaka in 2018. Small shops or waste collectors can directly sell to our hubs. Bottles can be sorted, baled and sent to factory from the hub directly, thus reducing sorting and logistics cost.Through these hubs the waste pickers are able to enhance their income and improve their livelihood. By eliminating price discrimination and setting up collection hubs (going to waste-pickers physically), exploitation by middlemen are now reduced. By paying 2-3x higher than current rates and introducing no child-labor policies, we can help bring fairness to the supply chain that is contaminated by exploitation, especially that of children. This is unique approach taken by us to increase the collection and also to bring fairness into the chain of recycling.
What are the proposal’s projected costs? / Quels sont les coûts projetés de la proposition?
For 1 year
Hub Rent - 1800 USD
Supervisor - 1000 USD
Maintenance - 500 USD
Transport- 400 USD
Total - 3700 USD
Equipment - 12000 USD
What are the potential challenges or obstacles? / Quels sont les défis ou les obstacles potentiels?
Social and political mobs who are running the waste collecting business in the slum.
About the authors / À propos des auteur(e)s
1. Sadia Jafrin
1) Alumna at Teach For Bangladesh; Former Fellow at Global Girls Education Fellowship; B.Sc in Pharmacy, Jahangirnagar University; M.Sc. in Governance and Development Studies, Jahangirnagar University; Post graduate of Educational Leadership & School Improvement in Brac University.
2. Amina Azad
Alumna at Teach For Bangladesh; Former Fellow at Global Girls Education Fellowship; B.Sc in Economics, Independent University Bangladesh; Post graduate of Educational Leadership & School Improvement in Brac University (Current)
1. Founder of “Grow your Reader”
2. Organizer of “WAR- Learn to Empower” A project that deals waste management selected for top 20 ideas of global youth video competition organized by The UNFCCC and the UNDP/GEF Small Grant Program.
3. Developer of “FACEDUCATION” A innovative teaching learning approach which ensure ICT in classroom by utilizing social media (facebook) accepted by UNESCO MGIEP Tech 2017 conference.