The informal waste management sector in Belo Horizonte and Managua

Sebastian Rude Boe Christensen, Szabolcs Bardos, Sigrid Pepke Jeppesen, Michael Højgaard Bang & Simone Lindberg Gregersen

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


Waste pickers play an important role in the informal economy throughout the Global South, but they often face marginalisation, exploitation and discrimination by authorities. This chapter argues that through organising informal waste pickers can attain collective agency and thereby gain better working conditions, recognition and social inclusion. The chapter contains a comparative analysis of the waste management sectors in Belo Horizonte and Managua, which is used for a theoretical discussion around organisation, collective agency and formalisation. The comparative analysis argues for two models of integrating informal waste pickers into the formal waste management sector - the integration model and the hybrid model. The structuralist and the legalist schools of thought both prescribe formalisation as the solution to the challenges of informality but this normativity and dichotic terminology is contested in the discussion, which suggests that a new understanding of (in)formality could improve the understanding of formalisation processes.

UddannelserInternationale Udviklingsstudier, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor el. kandidat
Udgivelsesdato25 maj 2016
VejledereLone Riisgaard


  • Integration model
  • Formalisation
  • Collective agency
  • Formal economy
  • Waste pickers
  • Organisation
  • Informal economy
  • Hybrid model
  • Belo Horizonte
  • Managua