Chair Publications

Ngwenya, M., Blaauw, P.F., Pretorius, A., Claassen, C., & Schenck, R. (2020). Skills-related underemployment amongst South Africa’s informally employed and self-employed: A case study of Potchefstroom. SA Journal of Human Resource Management/SA Tydskrif vir Menslikehulpbronbestuur, 18(0), a1308.



Hoffman,  M.J. and Schenck C.J. 2020.  The value chain of PET plastics within the waste economy of South Africa. Local Economy (in press)


Hoffman, M., & Schenck C. (2020). The value chain and activities of polyethylene terephthalate plastics in the South African waste economy. Local Economy: The Journal of the Local Economy Policy Unit 35(5):523-535.

Grobler, L. & Schenck, R. 2020 An exploration of earth systemic vulnerability in the context of landfills in the Anthropocene. Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe 60(1) (accepted and forthcoming March 2020)

Yu, D., Blaauw, P.F. & Schenck, C.J.  2020. Waste pickers in informal self-employment: Over-worked and on the breadline, Development Southern Africa. DOI: 10.1080/0376835X.2020.1770578.

Schenck, R., Blaauw, D., Viljoen, K., Swart, R., & Mudavanhu, N. (2019). The management of South Africa‟s landfills and waste pickers on them: Impacting lives and livelihoods. Development Southern Africa, Vol 36, Nr 1, pp 80-98, DOI:10.1080/0376835X.2018.1483822.

Schenck, C.J., Blaauw, P.F., Viljoen, J.M.M., & Swart, E.C. 2019. Exploring the potential health risks faced by the waste pickers on landfills in South Africa: Asocioecological ecological perspective. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 16(11):1-21

Viljoen, J.M.M., Blaauw, P.F. & Schenck, C.J. 2019. The opportunity and value adding activities of buy back centres in South Africa’s recycling industry: A value chain analysis. Local Economy. 34(3): 294-315

Blaauw, P.F., Pretorius, A.M., Viljoen, J.M.M. & Schenck, C.J. 2020. Adaptive expectations and subjective well-being of landfill waste pickers in South Africa’s Free State Province. Urban Forum, Vol 31, Nr 1, pp 135–155.

Blaauw, P.F., Pretorius, A.M. & Schenck, C.J. 2019. The economics of urban waste picking in Pretoria. African Review of Economics and Finance.11(2):129-164.

Viljoen, J.M.M., Blaauw, P.F. & Schenck, C.J. 2018. “Sometimes you don’t make enough to buy food”: An analysis of South Africa street waste pickers’ income. Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences.11(1): 1-13.

Related Publications



Jiyane, E. & Schoeman, T.  (2020).  Recycling behavior of students at a tertiary institution in South Africa.  Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Science, Engineering, Technology and Waste Management, 16-17 November 2020, Birchwood, Johannesburg, South Africa. 



Khanyile A, Caws GC, Nkomo SL & Mkhize NM. 2020. Thermal characterisation study of two disposable diaper brands. Detritus (9): 138-149. 



Makina, A.P. (2020). Logics used to justify urban appropriations: an examination of waste picking in Tshwane. PhD Dissertation. Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability, Florida State University.


Samson, M. (2020). “The political work of waste picker integration”, in Marty Chen and Françoise Carré (eds). The informal economy revisited: examining the past, envisioning the future. London: Routledge, pp. 195 – 200.

Samson, M. (2020). “Investigating Infrastructures of Urban Inequality”, in Edward Webster,  David Francis and Imraan Valodia eds. Inequality Studies from the Global South. Routledge. with Sian Butcher, Stefania Merlo, Margo Rubin, Laila Smith and Alex Wafer.

Samson, M. (2020). Building from what exists: integrating reclaimers into our understanding of the recycling economy. CSIR Briefing Note. March 14, 2020. Available at:

Samson, M. (2020). Integrating reclaimers into our understanding of the recycling economy. CSIR Technical Report, March 14, 2020. Available at: file:///C:/Users/A0012361/Dropbox/articles/M%20Samson%20-%20Synthesis%20report%20-%20Integrating%20reclaimers%20into%20our%20undertanding.pdf.

Samson, M. (2020). Final Technical Report: Johannesburg Case Study. Lessons from Waste Picker Integration Initiatives: Development of Evidence Based Guidelines to Integrate Waste Pickers into South African Municipal Waste Management Systems. CSIR Briefing Note, January 20, 2020. Available at: with S. Timm, T. Chidzungu, N. Dladla, G. Kadyamadare,  K. Maema, M. Mahlase, A. Mokobane, K. Molefe, L. Ndlovu, Z. Ntuli, K. Phakoe, L. Pholoto, M.M. Sekhwela and M. Shogole.

Samson, M. (2020). Final Technical Report: Metsimaholo Case Study. Lessons from Waste Picker Integration Initiatives: Development of Evidence Based Guidelines to Integrate Waste Pickers into South African Municipal Waste Management Systems. CSIR Briefing Note, January 20, 2020. Available at: with H. Gewer, J. Guya, K. Harrison, B. Kesselman, Z. Ntuli, L. Pholoto, M. Sekhwela and S. Timm.

Samson, M. (2020). “Waste pickers are crying – literally – for work,” Daily Maverick, April 7, 2020.

Samson, M. (2020). “South Africa’s response to COVID-19 worsens the plight of waste reclaimers,” The Conversation, April 1, 2020.


Schoeman, T. & Zwane, M.  (2020).  Drivers for recycling in Johannesburg, South Africa. Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Science, Engineering, Technology and Waste Management, 16-17 November 2020, Birchwood, Johannesburg, South Africa.



Tomita A, Cuadros DF, Burns JK, Tanser F & Slotow R. 2020. Exposure to waste sites and their impact on health: a panel and geospatial analysis of nationally representative data from South Africa, 2008–2015.Lancet Planet Health 2020 (4): e223–34.

Samson, M. (2019). “Whose frontier is it anyway? Reclaimer ‘integration’ and the battle over the ‘waste-based commodity frontier’ in the city of Gold”. Special edition ‘Beyond the ‘end of Cheap Nature’: The production of waste-based commodity frontiers’, Capitalism, Nature, Socialism. Published as online first. Available at:

Samson, M. (2019). “Trashing Solidarity: The Production of Power and the Challenges to Organizing Informal Reclaimers”. Labor Laid Waste Special Edition of International Labor and Working Class History, edited by Kate Brown and Jacob Doherty,95 (Spring 2019): 34-48.

Samson, M. & Sekhwela, M. (2019). “Contested Understandings of Reclaimer Integration – Insights from a Failed Johannesburg Pilot Project”. Urban Forum, 31(1): 21-39.

Schenck, C.J., Blaauw, P.F., Viljoen, J.M.M. & Swart, E.C. 2018. Social Work and food security: Case study of the nutritional capabilities of the landfill waste pickers in South Africa. Submitted to International Social Work. Vol 61, Nr 4, pp 571-586


Schenck, C., Theodore, N., Blaauw, P.F., Swart, E.C. & Viljoen, J.M.M. 2018. The N2 scrap collectors: Assessing the viability of informal recycling using the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework. Community Development Journal, Vol 53, Nr 4, 1 October 2018, pp 656–674,



Schoeman, T.  (2018).  Trolley pushers in the City of Johannesburg Proceedings of the Biennial Conference of the Society of South African Geographers.  Conducted by the Society of South African Geographers.   

Samson, M. (2017). “Not Just Recycling the Crisis – Insights into the Production of Value from Waste Reclaimed from a Soweto Garbage Dump,” Historical Materialism, 25(1): 36-62.

Samson, M. (2017). The Social Uses of the Law and Struggles Over Waste – Reclaiming the Law and the State in the Informal Economy,” Beyond Dichotomization: Informality and the Challenges of Governance in Cities of the Global North and South, special edition of Current Sociology edited by Julie-Anne Boudreau and Diane E. Davis, 65(2): 222-234.

Samson, M. (2017). “Hybrid Organisations, Complex Politics – When Unions Form Cooperatives: A Political Analysis of the Formation of Cooperatives by the KKPKP Trade Union of Waste Pickers,” in Edward Webster, Akua O. Britwum and Sharit Bhowmik eds. Crossing the Divide: Precarious Work and the Future of Labour. Durban: UKZN Press, pp. 143-164. With Malati Gadgil.

Schenck, C.J., Blaauw, P.F. & Viljoen, J.M.M. 2016. “Generation Nowhere”: The youth in South Africa’s informal economy – the case of day laborers and waste pickers. In: Petmesidou, M., Delamonica, E., Papatheodorou, C. & Henry-Lee, A. (eds). Child Poverty, Youth (Un)employment, and Social Inclusion Stuttgart: Ibidem Press.




Schoeman, T. & J. Schmidt.  (2016).  An explorative study on household recycling behaviour in the City of Johannesburg.  Proceedings of the Centenary Conference of the Society of South African Geographers.  Conducted by the Society of South African Geographers.  Stellenbosch:  SunMedia.

Viljoen, J.M.M., Blaauw, P.F. & Schenck, C.J. 2016. “Sometimes you don’t make enough to buy food”: An analysis of South Africa street waste pickers’ income. Economic Research South Africa (ERSA) Working Paper 603.

Viljoen, K., Blaauw, P. & Schenck, R. 2016. “I would rather have a decent job”: Potential barriers preventing street waste pickers from improving their socio- economic conditions. South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences 9(2):1-13.

Schenck, C.J., Blaauw, P.F. & Viljoen, J.M.M. 2016. The socio-economic differences between landfill and street waste pickers in the Free State Province, South Africa. Development Southern Africa 33(4):532-547

Schenck, R., Blaauw, D. & Viljoen, K. 2016. Enabling factors for the existence of waste pickers: A Systematic review. Social Work/ Maatskaplike Werk 52(1):35-53

Samson, M. (2016). “Old Trash, New Ideas: Reconceptualizing  the Public in Waste Management,” in David McDonald ed. Making Public in a Privatized World: The Struggle for Essential Services. London: Zed Books, pp. 41-58.

Samson, M. & Dias, S. (2016). Informal Economy Monitoring Study Sector Report: Waste Pickers. Cambridge MA, USA: WIEGO.

Blaauw, P.F., Viljoen, J.M.M., Schenck, C.J. & Swart, E.C. 2015. To “spot” and “point”: Managing waste pickers’ access to landfill waste in the North West Province. Africa Growth Agenda. 12(2):18-21

Viljoen, K., Blaauw, P. & Schenck, R. 2015. “I would rather have decent job”: Barriers preventing street waste pickers from improving their socio-economic conditions. Economic Research Southern Africa (ERSA) WORKING PAPER 498


Samson, M. (2015). Forging a New Conceptualization of “the Public” in Waste Management. WIEGO Working Paper #32 (Urban Policies). Cambridge MA: WIEGO.

Samson, M. (2015). “Accumulation by Dispossession and the Informal Economy – Struggles Over Knowledge, Being and Waste at a Soweto Garbage Dump,” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 33(5): 813-830.

Samson, M. (2015). Just Recycling: The Social, Economic and Environmental Benefits of Working with Waste Pickers. Available at:


Samson, M. (2014). “Bogotá’s Mayor Trashed for Remunicipalizing Waste,” Municipal Services Project, March 10, 2014. Co-authored with Federico Parra and Olga Abizaid.




TRASK, S. 2013. Up/Down/ Recycle: Infrastructure for integrated waste management. A focus on informal trolley pushers in Newtown Johannesburg. Johannesburg: University of Johannesburg. (MTech thesis)



Sobuce, N.W. 2012. Waste recycling and small, micro and medium enterprises development: A case study of greater Kokstad municipality. Johannesburg: University of the Witwatersrand. (MA dissertation) 11.



Viljoen, J.M.M., Schenck, C.J. & Blaauw, P.F. 2012. The role and linkages of buy back centres in the recycling industry: Pretoria and Bloemfontein. Acta Commercii Vol 12, pp 1-12.


Mamphita, D. 2011. The role played by subsistence waste pickers in recycling. Pretoria: University of Pretoria, South Africa. (MBA mini dissertation)



Schenck, C.J. & Blaauw, P.F. 2011. The work and lives of street waste pickers in Pretoria: Recycling in South Africa’s urban informal economy. Urban Forum 22:411-430. This article is also published in the Encyclopedia for Quality of Life. Springer (2014).

Schenck, C.J. & Blaauw, P.F. 2011. Living on what other throw away: a preliminary exploration into the socio economic circumstances of people collecting and selling recyclable waste. The Social Work Practitioner-Researcher. 27:135-152.




Schoeman, T. & Sentime, K. 2011. Informal waste collection in Johannesburg: a case study. [Online] Available: sentime&oq=schoeman+and+sentime&aqs=chrome..69i57.8398j0j8&sourceid=chrome &es_sm=93&ie=UTF-8#q=schoeman+and+sentime+waste+pickers.  [Accessed: 07/08/2013].


Sentime, K. 2011. Profiling solid waste pickers: a case study of Braamfontein – Greater Johannesburg. Africanus, 41(2):96-1



Benson, K. & Vanqa-Mgijima, N. 2010. Organising on the streets: a study of reclaimers in the streets of Cape Town. Report. Women in Informal Employment Globalising and Organising. Cambridge, MA, USA. [Online] Available:  [Accessed: 14/07/2013]


Chvatal, J. 2010. A study of waste management policy implications for landfill waste salvagers in the Western Cape. Cape Town: University of Cape Town, South Africa. (MA thesis)


Oelofse, S.H.H. & Strydom, W.F. 2010. Picking at waste facilities: scavenging or entrepreneurship? Paper delivered at the 20th waste conference and exhibitions, 4-8 October 2010, Emperors Palace, Johannesburg, South Africa.


Samson, M. (2010). Producing Privatization: Rearticulating Race, Gender, Class and Space,” Antipode, 42(2): 404-432.

Samson, M. (2010). Organizing Reclaimers in Tshwane, South Africa Lessons from Top Down and Bottom Up Experiences. WIEGO Organizing Brief No. 5. Cambridge MA: WIEGO.

Samson, M. (2010). Reclaiming Reusable and Recyclable Materials in Africa: A Critical Review of English Language Literature. WIEGO Working Paper (Urban Policies) No. 16. Cambridge MA: WIEGO.

Samson, M. (2010). La Récupération des Matériaux Réutilisables et Recyclables en Afrique Un Examen Critique de la Documentation Anglaise. Rapports de Recherche – Politiques Urbaines No 16. Cambridge MA: WIEGO. (Translation of report into French)

Samson, M. (2009). “Wasted Citizenship? Reclaimers and the Privatized Expansion of the Public Sphere,” Africa Development¸ 34(3-4): 1-25.

Samson, M. (2008). “Mopping Up the Labour Shortage – The Privatisation of Waste Management and Gendered Work Reorganisation,” Work Organisation, Labour and Globalisation, Special Issue, The New Gold Rush: The New Multinationals and the Commodification of Public Sector Work, 2(2): 103-118.

Samson, M. (2008). “Rescaling the State, Restructuring Social Relations – Local Government Transformation in Post-Apartheid Johannesburg and its Implications for Waste Management Workers,” International Feminist Journal of Politics, 10(1): 19-39.




Benjamin, S. 2007. Rapid assessment on scavenging and waste recycling work by children in South Africa. Report, Department of Labour and International Labour Organisation (ILO), Pretoria, South Africa.


Langenhoven, B. & Dyssel, M. 2007. The recycling industry and subsistence waste collectors: a case study of Mitchell’s Plain. Urban Forum, 18(1):114-132.  LUND



Ralfe, K. 2007. The waste pickers of Durban: a case study of three BBC. Durban: University of KwaZulu-Natal. (MA thesis) 




Nkosi, H.S. 2006. The viability of salvaging solid waste at dump sites in the Johannesburg Metropolitan area. Johannesburg: University of Johannesburg, South Africa. (MA dissertation)



McLean, M. 2000a. Informal collection: a matter of survival amongst the urban vulnerable. Africanus, 30(2):8-26.


McLean, M. 2000b. A personal profile of some of the informal collectors in central Durban – a case study. Society in Transition, 31(1):1-9


Naidoo, J.S.G. 1994. A study of the garbage pickers within the Port Shepstone disposal site. Durban: University of Kwa-Zulu-Natal. (MA thesis)

De  Kock, R. 1986. Garbage Picking as a strategy or survival. Durban: University of Natal, South Africa. (MA thesis)