Economic Empowerment and Livelihood
‘Sometimes you don’t make enough to buy food’: An analysis of South African street waste pickers’ income
Limited opportunities for the unskilled in the formal economy force many into informal street waste-picking activities. The income from these activities is not sufficient to lift them out of poverty. This article analyses income data of 873 street waste pickers to assess how identified factors explain income variations among them and whether they can endogenously influence their earnings. The results of descriptive, ordinary least square regression and quantile regression analyses show that they can do little to improve their income except to use a trolley and to start early in the morning. To improve their income, policy interventions to integrate them into waste management plans are recommended.
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