||Solid waste management is one of the main problems worldwide. Especially in developing countries, different factors such as rapid population growth, migration to urban areas, and lack of financial resources make difficult to implement an efficient system of collection.
Waste–pickers have an important role in the solid waste management but they normally work under hazardous and precarious conditions. In Brazil, in particular, although most of scavengers work informally, there are also many formal cooperatives of waste pickers that collaborate each other and contribute significantly to clean the cities and reduce the volume of solid waste destined to the dumps. Nevertheless, solid waste management is still a complex issue in the country and there is still a lot do in order to integrate waste–pickers within the society and in the waste management system.
This study analyzes the social impact of waste–pickers’ cooperatives in the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Duque de Caxias, using data collected in five cooperatives during five weeks fieldwork research.