Switching Managua on! Connecting informal settlements to the formal city through household solid waste collection
This paper explores the organizing of household solid waste management collection and disposal practices in informal settlements. It is based on a case study of an NGO project supporting Manos Unidas (―Joined Hands‖), an informal waste-picker cooperative in Managua, Nicaragua. Using horse carts, these people collect household solid waste from informal settlements where there was no previous regular, official waste collection. Unlike many development projects, which try to control people‘s agency, the support examined here focused on the residents of illegal neighbourhoods and the waste pickers, who themselves became city constructors and co-producers of basic services such as household waste collection, rather than service recipients of aid programs or municipal governments. By slightly changing the actions of the actors already involved in informal waste handling in the informal settlements, the project succeeded in transforming an agent of pollution into the solution to several interconnected problems: illegal dumping by the cart-men and residents, the cart-men‘s low and irregular income, and the lack of household waste collection services.
School of Public Administration/Förvaltningshögskolan
A revised version of this paper is published in Environment and urbanization: Zapata Campos, M. J; Zapata, P. (2013). Switching Managua on! Connecting informal settlements to the formal city through household waste collection. Environment and Urbanization, Vol 25(1): 1–18. DOI: 10.1177/0956247812468404
Zapata Campos, María José
School of Public Administration Working Paper Series