Social assessment of recycling systems - Peruvian case studies

Sandra Roxana Aparcana Robles, Roland Linzner, Stefan Salhofer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Several formalisation approaches of informal recycling have been implemented in developing countries, aiming at its integration into formal recycling systems. These strategies are often implemented through the initiative of local recyclers and non-government organisations. The aim is to tackle not only the poor economic situation but also common social problems of the informal recycling sector, such as social rejection, lack of education and inappropriate health and working conditions. Nevertheless, the expected positive social impacts are not precisely assessed or measured. This paper aims to develop a methodological approach based on the social life cycle assessment methodology for the assessment of recycling systems in developing countries with implemented formalisation measures. A field study in three Peruvian cities shows the feasibility of applying this methodology for assessing recycling systems. The case studies displayed negative performances regarding the indicators of discrimination, recognised employment relationships, and fulfilment of social benefits, physical working conditions and access to education. Regarding freedom of association, psychological working conditions and social acceptance, the city with formalisation of (formerly informal) recyclers obtained better evaluations whereas the city without formalisation was better evaluated in terms of working time and minimum and fair wages.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Waste and Resource Management
Publication date2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


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