ASMARE: Informal Waste Workers Engaging in Municipal Policy-Making
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ASMARE is an association of informal waste workers ( catadores ) in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Founded in 1990, it was the first step of involving catadores as a part of the city’s waste collection scheme. With ASMARE, the catadores moved from working in the streets with no organisation to semi-formality; able to voice their own demands. The change supported empowerment, improvements in working and living conditions, and greater self-esteem, which became foundations for later developments including a formal role in policymaking and ownership of recycling facilities.