Enhancing Income of Invisible Environmentalist (Waste pickers) by Sadia Jafrin, Amina Azad
Andy E. Williams
Feb 25, 2018
Sounds interesting. But I want to know what value the current middle-men bring. You are in essence trying to undercut them in order to pay the waste-pickers more. But what they deliver real value that costs them in some way? What if their cost of doing business doesn't allow you to undercut them?
On a side note, I think that working with waste-pickers in a more holistic approach to sustainability is essential. My vision of that approach is one in which every purchase entails a transfer to your personal online wallet of the serial numbers of whatever goods you buy, where every item would have a unique identifier. Rather than being based on a single massive database this approach is radically decentralized in building wallets with trusted agents that answer questions on your behalf (e.g.I found a plastic bottle that the store said they sold to you. Did you sell it or give it to someone or were you the one who threw it away?). When you sell or recycle the goods you'd transfer ownership of that number, and potentially get some benefit (such as a tax credit for recycling a certain percentage of your waste). Garbage pickers would be able to determine who precisely tossed away a plastic bottle or any other good by tracing the chain of ownership and could be compensated with a portion of the fine, thereby allowing the scheme to be sustainably market-driven.