The effects of handling solid waste on the wellbeing of informal and organized recyclers: a review of the literature. International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, Volume 18, Number 1, March 2012 , pp. 43-52(10).
Binion, Eric; Gutberlet, Jutta
Previous research has identified health issues in the formal, regulated solid waste collection sector, located primarily in the global North. Conversely, less information is available with regard to the health predicaments of informal, unaffiliated, and organized recyclers operating in regions of the global South. Estimated at 15 million people operating globally, informal recyclers perform a vital public service while working individually or within cooperatives.1 This review assesses, discusses, and compiles the physical and emotional health issues of individuals who are operating in this stigmatized sector.
The study highlights the self-assessed and observed health risks. Findings were coded into a number of reacquiring themes: chemical hazards, infection, musculoskeletal damage, mechanical trauma, emotional vulnerabilities, and environmental contamination. The review showcases the encouraging significance of working as a member in a recycling cooperative as a means of alleviating health issues. The findings suggest the need for further qualitative research with informal recyclers and solid waste policy enforcement with public, commercial, and industrial cooperation in source separation.