Waste Pickers topic at The Waste reading group

In the third meeting of the Waste reading group at MIT we will be talking about “waste pickers”. Everyone is welcome!

When: Monday, November 26, 9-10:30am,
Where: E14-240 (Media Lab, second floor). MIT. Cambridge, MA. USA
Moderated by Lucía Fernández + Pablo Rey

This is the list of readings:

Interesting quote about the work of waste pickers and their environmental benefits in the Anne Scheinberg text:

Informal valorization is a direct economic benefit to the informal valorizers, many of whom would otherwise have no work. It also creates positive externalities for municipal authorities, by reducing the amounts of materials requiring disposal, diminishing the CO2 footprint of the solid waste system, and improving performance of disposal facilities (Anschütz and Scheinberg 2004; Scheinberg, Simpson and Gupt 2007; Chaturvedi 2009; Scheinberg, Wilson and Rodic 2010; Medina 1997).

These benefits are threatened by modernization, especially when cities think that they can “get rich” off of “the gold in the garbage.” When cities in low-income countries commit to “recycling,” the result is often conflict over resources and access to the waste materials. Instead of a virtuous circle of increasing economic and environmental benefits, modernization may create a vicious circle of competition for resources, conflicts between public and private sector, interrupted supply chain relationships, and a decline in resource recovery and its associated benefits (Scheinberg 2011).


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  1. […] we’ll be talking  about waste pickers in the MIT waste reading group. In the third meeting of the Waste reading group at MIT we will be talking about “waste […]

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