Waste Pickers Project

Frisoli s.r.l. has realized long ago that as urbanization continues to take place, the solid waste management is becoming a major public health and environmental concern in urban areas of many countries. In particular, the lack of research and development activities in developing countries leads to the selection of inappropriate technologies in terms of the local climatic and physical conditions, financial and human resource capabilities, and social or cultural acceptability.

In low-income countries, over 90% of waste is often disposed in unregulated or openly burned dumps.

The most important causes of the negative impacts of open dumps on the environment and to public health and safety are related to proximity to waterways, geological/hydrogeological conditions, climatic conditions, long-term contamination due to leachate or landfill gas migration. The greenhouse effect via emissions of carbon dioxide and methane, including open burning of waste releasing smoke, particulates, and gaseous contaminants into the atmosphere has also a negative impact on environment and public health.

The interest in continuous improvement, environmental and social problem solving and waste management, has led Frisoli s.r.l. to expand its work field and to develop relationships with international NGOs involved in the social aspects concerning the poor Waste Management in Developing Countries. Our company is particularly conscious of socio-economic and health implications of a poor management of solid waste in many urban areas around the Worldand it’s truly willing to give its contribute to make a difference in people’s lives.

Frisoli s.r.l.’s goal is to improve waste pickers conditions by introducing an organized work system with the purpose of bettering their extreme deplorable social status and reduce the environmental issues associated to open dumpsites.

Waste management is well embedded within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) being included either explicitly or implicitly in more than half of the 17 goals. In particular:

SDG 1 / SDG 8 / SDG 10

SDG 1 aims for No Poverty. More than 1% of the global urban population make their living from recovering recyclable materials from waste (SDG 8), in bad sanitary conditions and social status. These informal waste collectors provide a valuable and often no-cost service, and it is recognisable their role in urban sanitation and resource efficiency (SDG 10).


Dumpsites are a global health emergency. The WHO, IHME and GAHP calculated that in 2012 exposures to polluted soil, water and air resulted in an estimated 8.9 million deaths worldwide —8.4 million of those deaths occurred in low-and middle-income countries. By comparison, HIV/ AIDS causes 1.5 million deaths per year and malaria and tuberculosis fewer than 1 million each. More than 1 in 7 deaths are the result of pollution. In addition one-third of the world’s urban population live in slums, where people lack basic infrastructure and services and are exposed to environmental and social health risks such as indoor and outdoor air pollution, lack of water and sanitation, and poor working conditions. One-quarter of the global burden of disease can be attributed to environmental risks, including climate change and exposure to toxic chemicals.


Groundwater around the world is threatened by pollution from dumpsites. Besides the organic load of leachates, hazardous pollutants include the trace metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury, pesticides such as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), chlordecone and their by-products industrial chemicals and open-air combustion by-products.


Closing a dumpsite or transform it into a sanitary landfill can be easily combined with biogas recovery programs. Biogas is a cheap renewable form of energy that can contribute towards the elimination of energy poverty, especially in the areas around big dumpsites.

SDG 9 / SDG 11

Many dumpsites in the developing world are located on or near the coast, thus they are really vulnerable to the environment. In addition, dumpsites are directly related with fires that can have catastrophic impacts. Closing those dumpsites and developing a sound waste management system will definitely improve the resilience of the urban areas.

SDG 13

If the situation follows the business as usual scenario then dumpsites will account for 8-10 % of the global anthropogenic GHG emissions by 2025. Closing the world’s dumpsites will result in substantial reduction of the CO2 emissions related to waste management.

tecniciWaste Pickers Project