Last update:
2019-09-15

Bogota wastepickers’ inclusive labor conditions put at risk by change in policies, Colombia

In 2013 the wastepickers were recognized and obtained a success (with their leader Nohra Padilla) but in 2018 their labor conditions are put at risk by a change in policies.


Description:

After having gained recognition and validation of their rights in Court in 2013, the Association of waste pickers of Bogota (ARB), in Colombia, had to face serious threats to these rights. In 2013 Nohra Padilla obtained a Goldman Prize for organizing Bogota's marginalized waste pickers to make recycling a legitimate part of waste management, making their cause known around the world. [5]. The instalment in 2018 of new garbage containers without considering the informal recyclers labour rights and without educating neighbours about recycling, has worsened the waste problem in Bogota. If wastepickers keep being excluded from the policy making of waste management their recycling activities will be harder and harder to pursue. As consequence they see their rights put at risk jointly with their livelihoods.

See more
Basic Data
Name of conflict:Bogota wastepickers’ inclusive labor conditions put at risk by change in policies, Colombia
Country:Colombia
Location of conflict:Bogota
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Waste Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Waste privatisation conflicts / waste-picker access to waste
Specific commodities:Domestic municipal waste
Project Details and Actors
Project details

In 2013 Nohra Padilla obtained a Goldman Prize for organizing Bogota's marginalized waste pickers to make recycling a legitimate part of waste management, making their cause known around the world. [5]. The instalment in 2018 of new garbage containers without considering the informal recyclers labour rights and without educating neighbours about recycling, has worsened the waste problem in Bogota.

Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:More than 22,400 informal waste pickers.
Start of the conflict:01/01/2018
Company names or state enterprises:BOGOTÁ LIMPIA S.A.S. ESP from Colombia - Company implementing new policies.
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Association of waste pickers of Bogota (ARB in Spanish). Web page:
http://asociacionrecicladoresbogota.org
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Informal workers
Local ejos
Forms of mobilization:Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Waste overflow
Potential: Air pollution
Health ImpactsPotential: Infectious diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood
Potential: Displacement, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..)
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:So far, there has been no outcome since there has been no applied alternatives to the struggle of waste pickers in Bogota.
Development of alternatives:No alternatives have been proposed since there has been no dialogue between the two concerned parts.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The company in charge of the waste management of Bogota is still making new policies without considering waste pickers. Therefore, the conflict is still an ongoing issue for them.
Sources & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

The 7 Pronouncements of the Constitutional Court: C-741 in 2003, T-724 in 2003, C-355 in 2003, C-793 in 2009, T-291 in 2009, Order 268 in 2010, Order 275 of 2011.
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[2] BOGOTÁ LIMPIA S.A.S. ESP
[click to view]

[4] Official data set of waste pickers in Bogota.
[click to view]

[1] ARB: fighting for an Inclusive Model for recycling in Bogota
[click to view]

[3] Federico Parra’s article about the critical situation of waste pickers in Colombia, specifically in Bogota.
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Nohra Padilla, Goldman Prize 2013, Question and Answer
[click to view]

[5] Nohra Padilla, Goldman Prize 2013, Question and Answer
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Valeria Calvas
Last update15/09/2019
Comments
Legal notice / Aviso legal
We use cookies for statistical purposes and to improve our services. By clicking "Accept cookies" you consent to place cookies when visiting the website. For more information, and to find out how to change the configuration of cookies, please read our cookie policy. Utilizamos cookies para realizar el análisis de la navegación de los usuarios y mejorar nuestros servicios. Al pulsar "Accept cookies" consiente dichas cookies. Puede obtener más información, o bien conocer cómo cambiar la configuración, pulsando en más información.