Waste as Informal Sector Work

Kaveri Gill

in Of Poverty and Plastic

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780198060864
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080175 | DOI:
Waste as Informal Sector Work

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This chapter analyses data collected from a household survey to assess and compare poverty, inequality, and deprivation levels of waste worker groups engaged at the lowest level of the informal scavenging and recycling chain, in relation to a control group of those engaged in alternative informal sector work and residing in the same slums (including construction workers, factory workers, cycle rickshaw pullers, cobblers, stove repair workers, and fruit vendors). On the narrow income measures of poverty, a certain occupational ranking of various groups emerges, with waste workers faring no better or worse than the control group on mean monthly income. In fact, waste workers are actually significantly and economically better off on mean hourly income. None of the occupational groups qualify as being poor according to the poverty line estimated for the state of Delhi, so, based on these measures, there is no reason to be concerned at a policy level with any of these groups at all, not even the least well off among them, that is, the waste pickers.

Keywords: Delhi; poverty; inequality; deprivation; income; waste workers; scavenging; recycling; informal sector

Chapter.  11457 words. 

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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