'The landfill has always borne fruit': precarity, formalisation and dispossession among Uruguay's waste pickers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Precarity has often been considered a hallmark of waste-picking, a survival activity whose practitioners are exposed to health risks, exploitation and fluctuating commodity markets. Adopting a three-dimensional approach to precarity that centres on 'exposure to danger', 'uncertain tenure' and 'dependence', this paper compares Uruguayan waste-pickers' (clasificadores) experiences of precarity at the Felipe Cardoso landfill, its related cooperative, and a formal sector recycling plant. Clasificadores at Felipe Cardoso characterise the landfill as a 'mother' who dependably provides them with food, clothes and construction materials. Recently, the Uruguayan state has sought to divert clasificadores to what is regarded as more dignified labour in recycling plants. I argue that the formalisation of some waste-pickers creates a cleavage within the occupation, dispossessing and delegitimising those who continue to work 'informally'.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-44
Number of pages14
JournalDialectical Anthropology
Volume43
Issue number1
Early online date5 Nov 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2019

Keywords

  • Recycling
  • Waste
  • Precarity
  • Formalisation
  • Dispossession

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of ''The landfill has always borne fruit': precarity, formalisation and dispossession among Uruguay's waste pickers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this