Roma Recyclers in Tirana


UNDP, Tirana Municipality and ECO Tirana have signed an agreement to integrate socially and economically Roma and Egyptian recyclers within Tirana territory by developing and implementing a pilot transitory programme for recyclers.


At least 50 individuals, who previously based their living on the informal waste collection will benefit from this pilot programme which aims to ensure a smooth transition into the labour market through the regulated collection of recyclable materials “door to door” for 8-months while focusing on the long run social integration of their families. 


For many years waste collection has been the main source of income for many Roma and Egyptian families usually accompanied with economic and social insecurity, low level of education, child labour and many other forms of human deprivation and suffering.


Formalizing recycling process is beneficial to everyone involved, citizens, the city, the environment, and the recyclers and it makes a difference for the main people involved. An efficient waste management protects the environment from waste pollution, reduces the amount of waste landfilled in the region, emissions of harmful substances into the soil, water and air and protects human health. But in the same time, management of waste is very important for the creation of new jobs, especially for people with low skills and in need.

Tirana municipality, Eco Tirana and ESERE project will provide training to participating Roma and Egyptians on job ethics, collecting and transporting of the waste and other job-related issues.


The recyclers and their family members are required to simultaneously follow a basic literacy and life skills course, a vocational training course, primary education or other forms of improvement of professional skills and personal competences, to ensure, in the long term, their sustainable integration into the labor market and society. The support of this programme is extended to recyclers families aiming to promote education, access to social services and social inclusion. 


This pilot programme will set a positive example to regarding economic, environmental and social impact of waste management and can be used as a knowledge base and guideline for other cities in Albania.


This initiative is supported by the EU funded project “Economic and Social Empowerment for Roma and Egyptians in Albania- a booster for social inclusion. The project relies on the Roma and Egyptian community led development as well close partnership with central and local authorities in the targeted areas. It supports the Government of Albania in its efforts to achieve the objectives set forth in the National Action Plan for the Integration of Roma and Egyptians, 2016-2020, while promoting respect for human rights, gender mainstreaming and intercultural dialogue, as prerequisites for the country’s EU integration.


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