Written resources

Waste picker integration guideline for South Africa

In 2019, the South African Government released the Waste Picker Integration Guideline for South Africa: Building the recycling economy and improving livelihoods through integration of the informal sector. The Guideline was developed through a three-year participatory stakeholder process. The Guideline explains what waste picker integration is, why it is important, and how to work in partnership with waste pickers to design and implement waste picker programmes. This Reclaim, Revalue, Reframe website is designed to support the implementation of the Guideline.

Waste Picker Integration Guideline for South Africa

Waste Picker Integration Guideline for South Africa

Reclaimers and reclaiming

These written overviews discuss who reclaimers are, the work they do, the contributions they make, the challenges they face, and how they are organising for integration. One overview focuses on women and waste picking in order to foreground gender issues in the sector and emphasise that if women are not included, it is not waste picker integration!

Reclaimers & Reclaiming – Reclaimers & their work

Reclaimers & Reclaiming – Reclaimer Contributions

Reclaimers & Reclaiming – A typical day of a female landfill reclaimer

Reclaimers & Reclaiming – A typical day of a male street reclaimer

Reclaimers & Reclaiming – Gender and waste picking

Reclaimers & Reclaiming – Common needs

Reclaimers & Reclaiming – Health and Safety

Reclaimers & Reclaiming – Separation at source and landfill reclaimers

Reclaimers & Reclaiming – Waste picker organisations in SA

Reclaimer profiles

An important part of respecting and valuing reclaimers is seeing and interacting with them as whole human beings with full lives who have chosen this occupation. Get to know some reclaimers and learn more about their work, lives, and dreams by reading their profiles. 

Reclaimer profile – Ana Mabe – Organisational support and friendship

Reclaimer profile – David and Andronica – A working couple

Reclaimer profile – Dorah Mabe – Safe conditions

Reclaimer profile – Emily Mrabalalo – Women working for their families

Reclaimer profile – Eva Mokoena – Organising

Reclaimer profile – Francelina Lekeno – A roof over her head

Reclaimer profile – Lefa Mononga – A natural leader

Reclaimer profile – Nthombizodwa Gcabashe – Working with others

Reclaimer profile – Papi Spekhang – Fast Trolleys

Reclaimer profile – Simphiwe Rholoma – Recycling, upycling and reusing

Reclaimer profile – Refiloe and Sfundo – Working on Durban Streets

Reclaimer profile – Samual Motshwadi – Supporting a family

Reclaimer profile – Sibongile Muthwa – Professionalizing reclaiming

Reclaimer profile – Simon Ramohlokane – Sorting in a cooperative

Reclaimer profile – Solomon Mafabatho – Getting the cooper

Waste Picker Integration

These written overviews explain what waste picker integration is, how it relates to separation at source, the role of municipal officials in integration, and some ways to kick-start integration. Special attention is paid to landfill waste pickers, who are often overlooked in discussions about integration and programmes to implement it.

Waste Picker Integration – What is Waste Picker Integration?

Waste Picker Integration – Why does Waste Picker Integration matter?

Waste Picker Integration – Waste Principles Integration Principles

Waste Picker Integration – Partnership vs charity

Waste Picker Integration – Municipal officials and integration

Waste Picker Integration – Separation at source and integration

Waste Picker Integration – Enabling national environment

Waste Picker Integration – Waste Picker Integration guideline

Waste Picker Integration – Kickstarting integration

Reclaimers & reclaiming – Amending landfill licences to permit waste picking

Reclaimers & reclaiming – Social plans for landfill reclaimers

Written case studies

Read through these written case studies to gain more in-depth insight into the case studies presented on this website.

Written case study – Separation at source by reclaimers – Johannesburg

Written case study – Infrastructure for integration – Durban

Written case study – Landfill cooperatives – Mangaung

Written case study – Integrating landfill waste pickers

Written case study – Separation at source by a cooperative – Metsimaholo

Written case study – Zoning regulations – Cape Town

7 steps for waste picker integration

This section includes seven written resources – one for each of the 7 Steps for Waste Picker Integration. Each document explains what the step is, why we need it, questions collaborative Waste Picker Integration Working Groups should discuss during this step, and some possible actions or exercises to do when working on this step.

Seven steps – Step #1 – Prepare

Seven steps – Step #2 – Partner

Seven steps – Step #3 – Plan

Seven steps – Step #4 – Enable

Seven steps – Step #5 – Institutionalize

Seven steps – Step #6 – Implement

Seven steps – Step #7 – Revise

Integration toolkit

This Toolkit includes quick references and checklists to remind you of some of the key actions that need to be taken as you move through the 7 Steps for Waste Picker Integration. You could print them out and hang them on your wall or put then in a quick-access folder to take to meetings on integration.

All toolkits:

Tool 1 – Establishing an Internal Task Team

Tool 2 – Analysing existing policies

Tool 3 – Checklist for meetings

Tool 4 – Addressing typical problems

Tool 5 – Key features of pilot projects

Tool 6 – Waste Picker Integration Plan template

Tool 7 – Enabling the Waste Picker Integration Plan

Tool 8 – Institutionalizing the Plan

Tool 9 – Checklist for M & E

Tool 10 – Revise the Waste Picker Integration Plan

Relevant reports

Here are some of the key studies mentioned in the website.
Evaluation of Recycling with Reclaimers Pilot Project

Waste Picker Registration

Briefing Note on Registration Pilot

Technical report on registration pilot

SA Waste Picker Registration System Train the Trainer Workshop Guide

SA Waste Picker Registration Campaign Manual