Advancing health and well-being for waste-pickers while connecting them with companies in need of ethically sourced recycled material.

Increasingly, major brands and companies recognize and work to reduce the enormous environmental impacts of their businesses, often in response to government regulations. But, as demand for recycled materials grows, the human side of the recycling industry is often ignored.

In much of the world, waste is sorted not by machinery, but by millions of individual waste pickers—a majority of them women —who collect recyclable trash from open dumps and sell their finds to a local aggregator at the going market rate.

Waste pickers and recycling cooperatives are among the most marginalized pieces of the value chain. At iWrc, they are at the heart of everything we do. 

iWrc partners with Social Accountability International (SAI) to create a social impact collaboration, the first of its kind, in the emerging market waste recycling sector.

Who is SAI?


SAI advances human rights at workplaces


We envision a world where workers, businesses, and communities thrive together.


​Founded in 1997, Social Accountability International (SAI) is a global non-governmental organization advancing human rights at work. SAI’s vision is of decent work everywhere—sustained by an understanding that socially responsible workplaces benefit business while securing fundamental human rights. SAI empowers workers and managers at all levels of businesses and supply chains, using its multi-industry SA8000® Standard, as well as Social Fingerprint®, TenSquared, and other training and capacity-building programs. SAI is a leader in policy and implementation, working together with a diverse group of stakeholders, including brands, suppliers, governments, trade unions, non-profits, and academia.

Program Activities

SAI visits waste-picking cooperatives and helps to measure and improve their Social Fingerprint, covering issues such as health and safety, wages and hours, and protections against child and forced labor. We then work with them to prioritize areas for improvement, develop an improvement plan, implement management systems, and deliver targeted training and capacity building.

What is Social Fingerprint?

Social Fingerprint is a program by SAI that helps organizations measure and improve their social performance (working conditions) and management systems (underlying processes).