Sep 2, 2016 Friday
Church Land Programme Boardroom
Church Land Programme Boardroom, 340 Burger Street
Pietermaritzburg ZA

Waste pickers are people who collect waste by roaming the streets of different towns in South Africa and the majority are based on dumping sites. They are making a living by recycling waste thus becoming their livelihoods. They are also referred to as environmentalists in countries such as India and have gained recognition in Brazil, India, Colombia and Egypt, due to the important role they play in reducing the amount of waste in our societies. Even in South Africa recognition has taken place even though it is still a contested subject/activity. During this session we will learn about recycling from those who know it best. Focus will be on recycling and how you go about it at home, with an introduction by and about the waste pickers and who they are. Questions such as: how many are they in the country? Why did they became waste pickers, e.g. due to the system that does not have opportunities for employment. Formal and informal economy will be slightly covered. Why did they organize themselves and what are their demands from government and from people of SA? What are the environmental benefits from recycling? Demonstration will be made by waste pickers at work.

Bring one of the following:
Debate on the subject waste pickers and recycling
Discuss issue of littering and a dirty city
Share information about waste pickers and recycling, e.g. through social media, in your personal networks etc.
Share initiatives people have been involved with e.g. Separation at source
Support the struggles of waste pickers related to justice, e.g. through joining protests, marches etc. organized by waste pickers.

About the teacher, Musa Chamane

I am a waste campaigner at groundWork who hails from Pietermaritzburg. I am passionate about environmental issues and have worked for a number NGOs on various issues locally, nationally and internationally. What made me interested in the environment culminates from environmental racism in terms of having dumping sites, and toxic polluting industries located next to the people of colour.