Recycling and COVID-19. Regulatory response during confinement in Ecuador

Waste pickers base their livelihood in the recovery of materials from solid waste that can be recycled, their work in the framework of the pandemic was aggravated due to: changes in the behavior of citizens towards the generation of waste, the possible presence of the virus in them, as well as the mobility restrictions that were implemented. This article analyzes the regulatory response to inclusive recycling during the lockdown as a result of the declaration of a state of emergency (March-September 2020) decreed in Ecuador due to COVID-19 pandemic. The research studies qualitative data reported in the government's digital platforms, regulations, and published articles, related to integral management of solid waste, inclusive recycling and COVID-19. In addition, it has been studied the results of the national survey “Waste Management and Circular Economy” on the perception of citizens about recycling and waste pickers during lockdown, taking Cuenca as a case of study.