Characteristics of Waste Pickers in Nakuru and Thika Municipal Dumpsites in Kenya
Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology,
Dumpsite waste picking is prevalent in many developing countries of which Kenya is one. Waste pickers play an important role in waste recycling by recovering and providing materials to the waste recycling industry.
Aim: The purpose of the study was to characterise the demographic and socio-economic factors of waste pickers in Nakuru and Thika municipal dumpsites.
Study Design: The research design was a cross-sectional social survey and the sample size was 167.
Place and Duration of Study: The study was carried out in the largest dumpsite in Nakuru and Thika towns found in Nakuru and Kiambu counties respectively.
Methodology: The data was collected by use of structured questionnaire. The data was analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences. Analysis was by frequency tables, χ2 test and t-test at 95% level of confidence.
Results: The results show that there was parity by gender in Nakuru but in Thika the proportion of females was much higher than that of males. There was significant association between age and site of operation with waste pickers in Thika being on average younger than in Nakuru (χ = 12.605, d.f. = 3, p = 0.006). Waste pickers in Thika had on average attained a higher level of education than in Nakuru (χ2 = 12.352, d.f. = 3, p = 0.006). Most of the waste pickers (96%) only picked from exclusively from the dumpsite. Waste pickers in Thika spent an average of 10.26±0.23 hours daily in waste picking which was significantly higher (t=-3.709, n=160, p<.001) than at Nakuru (8.97±0.27 hours). The mean number of years of waste picking in Thika was significantly less than in Nakuru (t=4.627, d.f.=158, p<.001).
Conclusion: In conclusion, waste pickers play an important role in waste recycling, with waste picking supporting hundreds of waste pickers in the study area, who are important in integrated waste management and need to be understood, appreciated and supported.
- Waste pickers
- waste picking
- solid waste
- waste recycling.
How to Cite
Melanie S. Reclaiming reusable and recyclable materials in Africa, A critical review of english language literature. WIEGO Working Paper (Urban Policies) No. 16; 2010.
(Accessed 28th July 2019)
Kimbugwe E, Ibitayo OO. Analysis of characteristics, activities, and exposure to vermin of human landﬁll scavengers in a developing nation. Environ Syst Decis. 2014;34:358–365.
Schenck, CJ, Blaauw PF, Viljoen JMM. The socio-economic differences between landfill and street waste pickers in the free state province of South Africa. Development Southern Africa. 2016;33(4): 532-547.
Nzeadibe TC. Solid waste reforms and informal recycling in Enugu urban area, Nigeria. Habitat International. 2009;33:93–99.
Rockson GNK, Kemausuor F, Seassey R, Yanful E. Activities of scavengers and itinerant buyers in Greater Accra, Ghana. Habitat International. 2013;39:148-155.
Aljaradin M, Persson KM, Sood E. The R OLE of informal sector in waste management, A case study; Tafila-Jordan. Resources and Environment. 2015;5(1):9-14.
Simatele D, Etambakonga CL. Scavenging for solid waste in Kinshasa: A livelihood strategy for the urban poor in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Habitat International. 2015;49:266-274.
Asim M, Batool SA, Chaudhry MN. Scavengers and their role in the recycling of waste in Southwestern Lahore. Resources, Conservation and Recycling. 2012;58:152–162.
Sasaki S, Araki T, Tambunan AH, Prasadja H. Household income, living and working conditions of dumpsite waste pickers in Bantar Gebang: Toward integrated waste management in Indonesia. Resources, Conservation and Recycling. 2014;89:11–21.
Hayami Y, Dikshit AK, Mishra SN, Waste pickers and collectors in Delhi: Poverty and environment in an urban informal sector. The Journal of Development Studies. 2006;42(1):41-69.
Majeed A, Siddique RA, Batool SA, Chaudhry MN. Scavenging demeanor in Bahawalpur, Pakistan: Social and health perspective. J Mater Cycles Waste Manag. 2017;19: 815–826.
Nzeadibe TC, Anyadike RNC, Njoku-Tony RF. A mixed methods approach to vulnerability and quality of life assessment of waste in Urban Nigeria. Applied Research Quality Life. 2012;7:351–370
County Government of Kiambu. County Integrated Development Plan 2013 – 2017; 2013.
(Accessed 23rd February 2015)
County Government of Nakuru. Nakuru County; 2014.
(Accessed 23rd February 2015)
Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. Census Data of 2009 for Rural and Urban Population; 2009.
(Accessed 10th Jul 2015)
Lubaale GN, Nyang`oro O. Informal economy monitoring study: Waste-pickers in Nakuru, Kenya. Manchester, UK: WIEGO; 2013.
Bryman A. Social research methods (4th edition). Oxford University Press: New York; 2012.
Kathuri NJ, Pals DA. Introduction to educational research. Njoro, Kenya: Educational Media Centre of Egerton University; 1993.
Turcotte I, Gómez GM. Partnership innovations in solid waste management in Bogotá, Colombia. Working Paper No. 548; 2012.
Gatheru C. Kenya has the highest literacy in the continent. Daily Nation; 2005.
Available:http://www.nation.co.ke/lifestyle/1190-96730-view-asAMP-20vnpkz/index.html on 20th May 2019
World Bank. Poverty incidence declined significantly but unlikely to be eliminated by 2030; 2018
(Accessed on 20th May 2019)
Available:https://www.worldbank.org/en/county/kenya/publication/kenya-economic -update- poverty-incidence-declined-significantly-but-unlikely-to-be-eliminated-by-2030 on
Medina M. Waste picker cooperatives in developing countries; 2005.
(Accessed 3rd March 2015)
Sim NM, Wilson DC, Velis CA, Smith SR. Waste management and recycling in the former Soviet Union: The city of Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic, Kyrgyzstan. Waste Manag Res. 2013;31: 106.
Abstract View: 2058 times
PDF Download: 739 times