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Year: 2013 Type: Book Chapter Language: English

In several respects, waste pickers pose challenges to organizing: they are physically dispersed, have no employer, many work long hours, and they are socially shunned. Yet Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat (KKPKP), a waste pickers’ trade union has for nearly twenty years sustained a vibrant organization which has made tangible material and social gains on behalf of its membership. Its offspring, SWaCH (Solid Waste Collection and Handling), is growing in strength as a model for the new face of solid waste management in India; one which has put the interests of a very marginalized constituency of waste pickers in retaining access to waste as its top priority. This chapter highlights some aspects of its approach and strategies which have contributed to this progress.

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