Global: Not glamorous, but green

Everybody is talking about green jobs.  Well, at least about the more glamorous and desirable ones: green architects, wind power engineers, solar technicians, etc.  But, reports Michael Renner of the Worldwatch Institute, by far the most numerous green jobs in the world – at least 15 million – are a little bit like a dirty secret: community waste recyclers.

Writing in his ‘Green economy’ blog, Renner says all too often, municipal administrations try to be rid of them and replace them with for-profit contractors.  But the community groups account for a sizable share of recycling – perhaps as much as 20 per cent in some parts of the world, according to Bharati Chaturvedi of Delhi-based Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group.

They do recycling work more cheaply, and they provide waste picking and recycling services in areas where their commercial competitors wouldn’t think of  going. And while these are certainly not highly desirable jobs, they provide bitterly-needed incomes for the urban poor.

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