The Environment and Infrastructure Services Department (EISD) in conjunction with Pikitup, the waste management entity of the City, has started to register waste pickers within the City of Johannesburg.
Region D was the first of all the City’s regions to start the registration, with 1200 waste pickers already registered.
Waste pickers are one of the key stakeholders in increasing the yield of recyclable materials diverted from Pikitup’s landfill sites, the ultimate objective of the City’s waste minimization efforts.
However, their contribution to saving the remaining landfill airspace cannot be quantified because of the informal nature of their business activities.
Through this registration, waste pickers can be considered for training opportunities and benefit from waste minimisation value chain projects.
EISD also has a forum in place where waste pickers are registered. We will therefore consolidate these lists to better engage with waste pickers in the future. We will engage of how we can assist with protective clothing, tools of trade, and inoculations through corporate sponsorship.
In South Africa, a report commissioned by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) estimate that there are 62 147 waste pickers in the country and about 25 467 of them operate at kerbside as trolley pushers and about 36 680 operate at landfill sites. According to the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) as high as 1% of the world population sustain their livelihoods through recycling activities.
The objectives of the registration process are:
– To recognize waste pickers who are currently in the system for integration into the City’s solid waste management system as stakeholders;
– To verify, record and quantify waste picker contribution to waste minimisation by collecting statistics of recyclable materials collected by waste pickers;
– To have accurate records of the number of waste pickers that can be used for planning programmes, selection of people to access different opportunities such as training etc. This will ensure that the process is fair and transparent and it can be properly monitored to make all opportunities equitable;
– To allow for new waste pickers to be registered and recognised when they enter the system; and
– All Waste Pickers (i.e. South Africans and documented Foreign Nationals) will be registered and issued with a Waste Pickers Identity Card.