12 September 2012
In Sri Lanka, recycling, and its associated occupations, are becoming more organized thanks to a collaboration between the ILO, municipal government, worker and employer organizations. The Waste Management Authority that manages Colombo's solid waste disposal is creating "green jobs" by formalizing the formerly 'freelance' waste pickers that collect plastics, metals and other materials for re-sale. Up to 4,000 waste pickers have received training by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health to improve their methods of collection while raising awareness about protecting their health at work. Meantime, the ILO has been liaising with the tea and rubber plantation owners to buy bio-compost produced as a by-product of the WMA. Supported by the Australian Government - ILO Partnership Agreement (2010-2015) the outcomes are benefiting many in this transition to green jobs in Sri Lanka.