We genuinely care about our staff and one of our objectives as an organisation is improving conditions for people who work with waste. Let’s be brutally honest, they have incredibly difficult and dirty jobs and it doesn’t have to be that way.
By segregating your waste at source and ensuring food waste is kept separate from recyclables you can also improve working conditions for people in the waste industry.
Organised door to door collections are proven to be our most effective method of managing waste. It’s cleaner, more hygienic, more efficient, better for the environment and means people don’t have to sort through mixed waste in dumping grounds and gutters or spend hours trailing through the streets looking for recyclables.
‘Our boys’ as they are affectionately known are a major asset to the organisation and they are hard working and honest. We give them the equipment they need to do their jobs and treat them with the respect they deserve, in return they work in a manner that makes us proud to have them as part of the team. They have transformed the areas they work in, turning out in all weathers to collect waste from households, sweep the streets, empty our community dustbins and generally make sure the areas they are responsible for are neat and clean.
How much is a Waste Worker worth?
We are often criticized for paying our workers too much. We pay them Rs 7000 per month in Dehradun as they can’t get any income from selling recyclables and Rs 4000 per month for working half days in Dharmsala, where they collect waste independently in the afternoons, which they then sell to generate income. We pay them a decent salary because they’re worth it and they deserve every single rupee.
In January, Vijender’s father became ill and he rushed back to Chandigarh fearing the worst. His Dad spent five days in hospital then was discharged with a Rs 20,000 bill. Last year Raj Kumar spent hours driving round in an auto with his wife going into early labour trying to find a hospital that would take less than Rs 10,000 to deliver their baby. He was too proud to ask us for help and he knew that we didn’t have the funds to help him either.
The point of the story is that Waste Workers have bills to pay too, they have families to feed and clothe, rent to pay and incur a lot of the same costs that we do but with a fraction of the money. They also have aspirations of a better life and is it unreasonable that they dream of sending their children to school so they can learn to read and write, an opportunity they themselves never had?
If you would like to sponsor a Waste Worker for a week, a month or a year please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you. Info@wastewarriors.org