Recyclers in Peru rise out of poverty through solid waste management systems



The governments of 11 cities in Peru, whose combined populations total nearly 900,000, have established integrated solid waste management systems (Gestión Integral de Residuos Sólidos – GIRS) that incorporate recyclers as key players. The GIRS systems legally recognize the work of 17 associations that represent 215 recyclers, 55% of whom are women; the recyclers have in turn strengthened their technical, organizational, and management capacities.

These recyclers have also contributed to the environmental sustainability of 80% of the households in the areas where they work, organized residental and commercial collection routes, and independently managed recycling processing centers, all of which has helped them to work more effectively, improve their working conditions, and gain more income.

As a result, the average income of these recyclers has doubled, helping their families to rise out of poverty. The concrete changes in their quality of life and that of the residents of the cities with GIRS systems have not gone unnoticed, as the National Solid Waste Program, overseen by the Peruvian Ministry of the Environment, has compiled best practices and lessons learned from the project so that it can be replicated.

This impact was made possible thanks to financing from the Regional Initiative for Inclusive Recycling (IRR), a regional alliance of The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Water and Sanitation Initiative, the IDB Multilateral Investment Fund, Coca-Cola Latin America, PepsiCo, Red Latinoamericana de Recicladores, and Fundación Avina. The local partner that implemented the project was Ciudad Saludable, in collaboration with Industrias San Miguel, Natura, and the Peruvian Ministry of the Environment.

Country Impacted: Peru

Principal Allies: Inter-American Development Bank, Ciudad Saludable, Industrias San Miguel, Natura, Peruvian Ministry of the Environment.

See the full 2016 Annual Report here.

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