the presentation

Structural Integration of the
Informal Sector in Municipal
Solid Waste Management
Tunisia – case study
ISWA / RDN / EXPRA Workshop
Bucharest, October 9th 2014
Who are we?
2002 – GP is registered as a Romanian private and
independent company that provides environmental
consultancy services to authorities and industry and business
development in various fields of expertise.
2009 – GP together with 4 more consulting companies register
the RWA as a UK company with a specialised track record in
waste management, resource efficiency and associated
advisory and consultancy services. RWA provides support to
design and implementation of integrated resources and WM
Why integrating/formalizing the IRS?
Informal Recycling Sector (IRS) is more active and effective in recovering
and valorising resources that the formal sector in low and middle income
Our experience in working with the IRS
• Green Partners and RWA have extensive proven experience in working with the
- facilitating discussions
- opening communication channels
- initiate debates and challenges
- institutional development and capacity building
- developing and analyzing integration/formalization options
- Legislation, policy and economic instruments design and implementation
- Community mobilisation and public awareness
Our own garden – Pata Rat
Study on the economic impacts of
the IRS in waste management in
Challenges of sustainable and
Affordable Modernization in the
Solid Waste Sector conference in
Currently there are approximately 1000 persons living on the landfill and its
Most of them are participating in SWM activities as waste pickers
IRS in Tunisia - case study
• This project is financed by the BMZ (German Federal Ministry for Economic
Cooperation and Development) through the Fund for Good Governance in
the MENA Region.
• Project activities ccontributes to the objective of the regional network for
integrated SWM – SWEEP-Net in MENA region. Another SWEEP-Net study
is focusing on the Middle East region SWM practices.
• The project implementation is done by RWA - January 2014 until June 2015.
Background – project objectives
• The project has a participatory approach having the following
-improving the living and working conditions of the informal
sector through its structural integration;
- establishing sustainable income generation and
- enhancing efficiency of local waste management schemes,
• Institutional setup and EPR in Tunisia:
Eco-Lef - the Tunisian EPR system from
2001 for post-consumer packaging waste
• Municipal waste collection services: poor
level of services
• The IS by collecting and recycling part of
the municipal waste stream at no cost to
the municipality represents an economic
benefit to the municipality
EPR Scheme in Tunisia
Waste management sector
EPR scheme
Treatment and disposal
Transfer station
ANGed – National Agency for Waste Management
Current situation – informal sector
About 8000 people are involved in informal recycling in Tunisia. They work in the
collection of recyclable materials from landfills or by crisscrossing the streets of major
cities of the country.
• 15,000 t of PET per year recycled, 67% by the
informal sector
• 5000-6000 t of non-ferrous metals per year is
• 3,600 t paper and cardboard per year,
Categories of waste pickers
Professional waste pickers
In this category there are the street pickers and the pickers who are collecting exclusively
from the new landfill in La Marsa. They guide the trucks arriving on landfill and then they are
sorting recyclables, selecting them and selling them to carriers that come up directly on the
discharge points. They earn on average 30 DT/day
Categories of waste pickers
Semi-professional waste pickers
These persons have between 2 and 10 years of work experience in the field of waste
recycling. They sum up to half the total number of waste pickers. There are those who
already have a motorcycle, those who have bikes with trailers, and those who are still using
the hand cart, or even the wheelbarrow. They have irregular income of about 10-15 DT/day
Categories of waste pickers
Waste pickers belonging to vulnerable groups
These persons have between 2 and 10 years of work experience in the field of waste
recycling. They sum up to half the total number of waste pickers. There are those who
already have a motorcycle, those who have bikes with trailers, and those who are still using
the hand cart, or even the wheelbarrow. They have irregular income of about 10-15 DT/day
Categories of waste pickers
Women barbéchas
They have no means of motorized transportation and often they only have a wheelbarrow or
even nothing at all. They rarely earn more than ten dinars a day. They find themselves doing
this job after becoming a widow or due to a disabled husband.
Categories of waste pickers
Current situation – informal sector
• Types of recycling materials collected include:
• 5% all types of waste
• 75% plastic and aluminum cans
• 10% paper/ cardboard
• 2% textiles
• 8% other streams (batteries, wood, etc).
Current situation – value chain
• There are two parallel competing systems for recycling, ANGED’s Ecolef
system (EPR system), and the private recycling value chain, both of which are
supplied by waste pickers and others like NGOs and small junk shops.
Current situation – other stakeholders
Pilot measures - needs
For all pilot there are some similar actions that that are required in all selected pilot
zones, these include the need for an agreement, awareness raising, monitoring and
raising investment financing.
monitoring and
Logistics/ technical
pilot are
collection frequency
equipment need
criteria for access to
pilot projects
Financing investment adn operation
Pilot measures for integration
1. Door-to-door collection of source
separated dry fraction
2. Door-to-door primary collection of source
separated wet and dry fraction
3. Improving communal collection points
including cages
Currently we’re mapping and understanding all
technical details in the field
Pilot measures – collection of dry fraction
- Waste pickers going from door to door of
households and buying or collecting for free dry
recyclables, especially PET and other plastic.
- Door bell or schedule
- Zones and routes
- Registration of waste pickers and criteria
- Badges, uniforms, equipment
- Need for motorized equipment micro-credits
- Revenues
Pilot measures – collection of wet and dry fraction
- The waste pickers have the right over the recycleables and drop wet waste in
communal containers
- Door bell or schedule
- Districts, Zones and routes
- Registration of waste pickers
- Badges, uniforms, equipment
- Need for motorized equipment
- Changes to municipal communal containers infrastructure
- Revenues and willingness to pay
Pilot measures – communal collection points
- Waste pickers own/administer/have access to cages or communal containersn
and an obligation to keep the communal collection point clean
• cages system
• Informal sector was not interested in this option
- Cleanliness and customer satisfaction
- Efficiency and financial sustainability
- Difficulties in seperation of tasks
- Assigning collection points, registration, criteria
- Badges, uniforms. Equipment
- Changes to municipal infrastructure
- Challenges are different for the two municipalities
- There are various interferences in the value chain between ANGed (Ecolef) and
private operators
- There are conflicts between formal and informal workers due to access to waste
- Different interests and perspectives
- Legal issues: patent
- Increased earning potential may attracting more people at the bottom of the
chain while enforcing the chain
- Access to credit, uniforms, equipment
Research studies/publications
2006: Economic Aspects of the Informal Sector in
Solid Waste Management
2008: Challenges of sustainable and Affordable
Modernization in the Solid Waste Sector;
2010: Egyptian National Solid Waste Management
Programme document
2012: Global Extended Producer ResponsibilityInformal Sector in Waste Management
2014: Operator Models in Low and Middle Income
The IRS needs to be taken into account when developing SWM strategies,
policies and programmes;
Donors/IFI are keen on working towards the integration/formalisation of
waste pickers;
the informal sector creates social benefits and indirect economic and
environmental benefits for the municipality;
Working with the informal sector is possible and could be seen as one form
of private sector participation.
Many options for integration, still room for analysing their advantages and
Questions and open discussions
Thank you for your attention
Cosmin Briciu
[email protected]
Tel: +40 746 775171
[email protected]
Fantanele 18, 400294, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Tel. +40 264 589291, Fax: +40 264 585585

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