7 Steps for Waste Picker Integration

Waste picker integration requires a significant shift in how municipalities and industry have developed and run waste picker projects in the past, because it requires them develop, implement, and revise waste picker integration plans and projects in partnership with waste pickers.

The Waste Picker Integration Guideline presents a 7 Step process that municipalities and industry can use to work together with waste pickers on integration. Here we present a poster and written resource to explain each step. We also provide a range of written and visual resources that you can draw on to deepen your understanding of what the step means, why it is necessary, what it can look like in practice, and what it means to waste pickers.

You can use some or all of these resources if you are facilitating a workshop, teaching a class, making a presentation, doing research on the 7 Steps, or in a Waste Picker Integration Working Group developing an integration plan.

The 7 Steps talk about municipalities, but industry, Producer Responsibility Organisations (PROs), companies, NGOs, and anyone working on programmes with waste pickers can follow the same steps, modifying them as necessary.

Step 1: Prepare

In Step 1, the municipality prepares to work with waste pickers on integration by: establishing an internal integration task team; Ā strengthening team membersā€™ understanding of waste pickers, their contributions, and waste picker integration; making an official commitment to integration; and analysing what the municipality is already doing related to waste picker integration, including separation at source and other programmes that may have negative consequences for waste pickers.

Additional resources:

Tool 1 – Establishing an Internal Task Team

Tool 2 – Analysing existing policies

Waste picker integration – Waste Picker Integration Guideline

Waste picker integration – What is Waste Picker Integration?

Waste picker integration – Why does Waste Picker Integration matter?

Waste picker integration – Municipal officials and integration

Reclaimers & reclaiming – Reclaimers & their work

Reclaimers & reclaiming – Reclaimer contributions

Poster – Separation at Source and Waste pickers

Poster – Key points about WP integration

Gender and waste picking

Reclaimer profiles

Photo essays

Step 2: Partner

Step 2 focuses on how the municipality can develop a working partnership with waste pickers, and how the municipality and waste pickers can establish a collaborative Waste Picker Integration Working Group that will develop the Waste Picker Integration Plan (WPIP) and oversee its implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and revision.

Additional resources:

Waste picker integration – Partnership vs charity

Reclaimers & Reclaiming – Waste picker organisations in SA

Written case study – Integrating landfill waste pickers

Reclaimer profile – Eva Mokoena – Organising

Reclaimer profile – Lefa Mononga – A natural leader

Tool 3 – Checklist for meetings

Webinar – Partnering with reclaimers

Step 3: Plan

Step 3 helps the collaborative Waste Picker Integration Working Group to go through the key issues that need to be discussed and addressed in the Waste Picker Integration Plan. It also (WPIP) gives examples of the kinds of programmes that could be included in the (WPIP).

Additional resources:

Tool 6 – Waste Picker Integration Plan template

Reclaimers & Reclaiming – Common needs

Reclaimers & Reclaiming – Gender and waste picking

Waste picker integration – Kickstarting integration

Tool 5 – Key features of pilot projects

Waste picker integration – Separation at source and integration

Reclaimers & Reclaiming – Social plans for landfill reclaimers

Tool 4 – Addressing typical problems

Case studies

Step 4: Enable

In Step 4, the collaborative Waste Picker Integration Working Group: 1) identifies the actions that need to be taken by the municipality to create a supportive environment for waste picker integration, and 2) ensures that these measures are put in place.

Additional resources:

Waste picker integration – Enabling national environment

Tool 7 – Enabling the Waste Picker Integration Plan

Written Case Study – Zoning regulations – Cape Town

Written case study – Integrating landfill waste pickers

Photo essay 8 – Palmer street recycling facility

Video – Infrastructure for integration – eThekwini

Step 5: Institutionalize

Waste picker integration will only succeed if it is included in all key municipal planning documents, such as the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and the Integrated Waste Management Plan (IWMP). Step 5 focuses on how to institutionalize the Waste Picker Integration Plan (WPIP).

Additional resources:

Waste picker integration – Enabling national environment

Step 6: Implement

Step 6 focuses on how to implement the Waste Picker Integration Plan (WPIP) and how to use participatory monitoring and evaluation methods to track its progress.

Additional resources:

Tool 9 – Checklist for M & E

Step 7: Revise

In Step 7, the collaborative Working Group (which should be transformed into a permanent Waste Picker Integration Committee by this point) revises the Waste Picker Integration Plan (WPIP) based on analysis of the monitoring and evaluation outcomes. Changes in the broader context that have implications for the WPIP should also be taken into account when revising the WPIP.

Additional resources:

Tool 10 – Revise the Waste Picker Integration Plan