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Gender and Recycling: Tools for Project Design and Implementation

Prepared by Victoria Rudín of ACEPESA (Costa Rica), Lilliana Abarca and Sophie van den Berg of WASTE

Published by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)  

Cities in low and middle income countries often have a large informal sector that makes a living by recyclable solid wastes recovery. The work of these recyclers is generally not recognized by local authorities. However, in practice, in many countries, the recyclers, even though informal, are an integral part of the solid waste management systems of the cities where they work. They collect waste from homes, streets, commercial and industrial establishments and pick waste from the final disposal sites. They contribute to the wider waste management system often providing this service free of charge to municipalities, central government or residents.

This Guide is intended to be used in the preparation of projects that contribute to the formalization of recyclers and their integration into the recycling value chain. Through the application of the tools included in the Guide, it is possible to identify and take into account the needs of recyclers in each stage of the project cycle, in order to promote the creation and strengthening of spaces for the equal participation of women and men in decision-making and in the assignment of responsibilities associated with the project.

The Guide is meant for social organisations, and technical and managerial personnel involved in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of projects or programmes that include informal recyclers in inclusive recycling processes. These organisations include: non-governmental and/or community based organisations, recyclers associated in various types of socio-economic groups (pre-cooperative, cooperative, association, micro-business or similar), government and donor organisations.


The document is also available in Spanish.

It can be downloaded from the IDB website