When the income from recyclables overcomes the minimum salary
Flor Assane is a 28-year-old waste picker from Dondo, Sofala province who has the majority of his family expenses covered by the sales of recyclable material to 3R in Beira. Assane manages to pay for his rent, food and other personal and family expenses.
The work as a waste picker started 3 years ago when he lost his job and stayed unemployed for a long period. By that time he was selling recyclables to a small company in his neighborhood. But since he moved to Ponta Gea, a neighborhood in Beira, he takes all materials to the ecopoint Palacio dos Casamentos, supported by 3R.
Although it is not an easy life, Assane believes the material collection keeps him busy and provides good income for him and his family. “Collecting waste can be very tiring. Sometimes I have to walk a lot to find the material and then walk all the way back to sell it at the ecopoint”, he says. He refers to the distances he has to travel in order to find the type of material he opted to sell. Waste pickers like Assane look for the most valuable types of material, like HDP or PP, specific types of plastic.
The distance and the challenges do not represent a barrier to his performance. In November alone, he sold about 550Kg of recyclable material at the ecopoint.
Flor Assane makes sales almost every day and, due to his pace, he manages to earn around 5,000 meticais per month (the minimum salary in Mozambique is 4,225 meticais). According to him, the work he does not only keeps him out of trouble but also gives him a sense of dignity as a man and as head of the family.