How much waste pickers earn in South Africa

How much waste pickers earn in South Africa

If you've ever wondered how much money some waste pickers in South Africa make - here is your answer. 

Waste Picker beautiful new
Supplied, Beautiful News

Known in South Africa as 'bin pickers', 'waste pickers', or 'dumpsite reclaimers', informal waste collectors currently play a huge role in our economy.

A recent report shared by The Outlier revealed just how much money waste pickers in South Africa make.

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To understand how they operate and the challenges they face, 226 bin pickers in the City of Johannesburg were interviewed about the nature of their job.

Through these interviews, the report also revealed how much these 226 pickers earn.

The Outlier

Of those surveyed, the majority (39%) earn between R300 and R600 per week.

Altogether, more than 70% of the pickers earned less than R600.

Roughly 16% of the participants earn between R601 and R900 weekly, while 3% earn more than R1,500 weekly.

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The report highlighted that the lowest weekly earnings figure given was R100, and the highest was R7,000.

This worked out to anywhere between R400 and R28,000 a month.

According to Stats SA, the average monthly salary for South Africans in the formal sector is R26,894, meaning that some waste pickers could earn over 4% of the national average.

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Image: Supplied/ Beautiful New


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