The precarious situation of informal waste pickers was explained and presented by CIVISOL’s founder in front of the Court in a petition signed by waste picker leaders and providing evidence of their failed efforts to effectively participate in public decision making in waste management and the governmental disregard to their survival work around urban sanitation and a livelihood fully connected with access to the torrent of inorganic and potentially recyclable waste. In response the Court ruled that waste management decisions must not jeopardize Waste Pickers’ right to life or survival, nor increase their marginality. This ruling was important due to the emergence of competition from private businesses that sought to take over recycler’s traditional role. [Ma2]
The state had made superficial efforts at creating alternative livelihoods for displaced waste pickers, providing some of them with jobs that were not related to recycling. Their traditional reality as waste pickers by trade and tradition was not acknowledged, however. Additionally, their cooperatives were not allowed to bid in the public tender, due the narrow terms of reference. Waste pickers were to that end completely shut out of their soul survival niche. The Court ruled that the State must recognize and protect waste pickers’ economy and existence when drafting urban waste systems. Admitting CIVISOL arguments the Court ordered to protect waste pickers by henceforth drafting inclusive policy in waste management.