Informal Collectors:
Our Overlooked Champions in the Transition to Circularity

While responsible for delivering the majority of the world’s materials to the recycle value chain, informal collectors—also referred to as waste pickers—are often marginalized in their own communities and have limited access to basic needs such as food, education, and healthcare. As demand for recycled content continues to increase, it is essential that the informal collector community is recognized as a key stakeholder in the transition to a circular economy and has the necessary resources to manage the global waste stream and thrive.
To ensure that the lives and livelihoods of this important and misrepresented community is accounted for, PYXERA Global’s circular economy programming incorporates informal collectors as critical voices in our programming, as highlighted in the example below.

PYXERA Global & 3M:

Solid Waste Innovation for Shivaji Nagar, India

The nonprofit Apnalaya works in some of the poorest communities in Mumbai helping the slum population achieve a better quality of life. Many of Apnalaya’s programs, including their support for community healthcare, education, people with disabilities, women’s empowerment, and citizenship, benefit the communities living on and around the Deonar garbage dumping ground that predominantly rely on waste picking as their livelihood.

Challenge & Solution

Mumbai is a rapidly growing city with a big waste management problem. Currently, 76% of Mumbai’s solid waste is sent to landfills, like the Deonar dump, even though a grand majority of that waste could be recycled or composted. Facilitated by PYXERA Global, 3M worked with Apnalaya to create a sustainable, affordable, and integrated solid waste management proposal for Mumbai, including programs to reduce waste creation and create alternative livelihood options for informal collector communities that currently rely on the Deonar dump for their survival.

INFORMAL COLLECTOR PROJECT PARTNERS

First Mile Logo
Asase
RU!

ZERO WASTE COMMUNITY INITIATIVES
A HOLISTIC APPROACH TO SYSTEMS CHANGE

ASSESS LOCAL
MATERIALS
INFRASTRUCTURE
COMMUNITY AND
PARTNER ENGAGEMENT
STRATEGY
CO-CREATE
AND IMPLEMENT
INTERVENTIONS
SCALE
LOCAL
INNOVATIONS

HIGHLIGHTS & EXPERIENCE

Ellen MacArthur Foundation CE100 Network
Thought Leadership Partner

Recent projects include facilitating global pro bono services in areas such as upcycling & waste management, informal collectors, and city-wide logistics.

CONTACT US

To enhance your organization’s transition to a circular economy, please contact John Holm, Vice President, Strategic Initiatives at [email protected] 

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