Project initiated by: Ken Lyotier (founder of United We Can)

Funded by: The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation

Coordinated by: Binners’ project a Tides Canada project (Vancouver) and the Coop Les Valoristes (Montreal)




Project Description

Around the world, there are people living of other people’s waste materials either by reusing or selling them. This reality is especially known in Southern countries where approximately 1% of the population lives and survives of the resale of waste. However, this informal activity of waste collection as a tool to fight poverty is becoming more and more prevalent in Northern countries.

This project aims to link informal recyclers across Canada in order to organize them and join forces at the national level to make their place in society and have an impact in the decisions concerning them.


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Main goals

  • To document the realities of valoristes-binners locally, regionally and nationally;
  • To support their collective self-organizing efforts in order to defend their rights;
  • To showcase their ideas in order to influence practices related to waste management;
  • To develop new socio-economic models more inclusive and cooperative;
  • To develop partnerships and to exchange expertise at national and international levels.

Main impacts

  • To connect and improve the conditions of life and work of Canadian informal recyclers;
  • To create a sense of belonging in their society;
  • To document an unknown phenomenon and reality;
  • To influence legislation and public policy for it to become more participatory and more inclusive;
  • To raise awareness in governing authorities and general population regarding social dimensions related to waste management;
  • To improve overall waste management performance.


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