UCL Faculty of Laws


Hybrid | Spotlight on Waste: Film Screening and Policy Brief launch

08 March 2023, 6:00 pm–7:45 pm

Image of picking up rubbish

A screening hosted by UCL Centre for Law and Environment of ‘Reclaiming Now’: a documentary about waste pickers and sustainable development

Event Information

Open to



UCL Laws


UCL Faculty of Laws
4-8 Endsleigh Gardens

Screening of ‘Reclaiming Now’: a documentary about waste pickers and sustainable development

About this Screening

Reclaiming Now is a documentary film about waste pickers in South Africa and their struggle to enjoy the social and economic dimensions of sustainable development as promised in the South African Constitution. The documentary is the brainchild of Dr Allison Lindner, an interdisciplinary legal scholar at UCL Faculty of Laws who wished to translate her PhD thesis findings into a widely accessible medium and was directed by Premilla Murcott and Tricia Hlongwa. Dr Lindner’s thesis focused on how international legal ideas such as sustainable development shape the lives of the most vulnerable among us, in this case, waste pickers in South Africa. It found that the lived reality of sustainable development does not accord with its aspiration.. Waste pickers work hard to collect and sell recyclable materials for a living, while saving South African municipalities millions of rand per year in landfill space. Yet, they continue to live in poverty with little opportunity to move into any formal sector. The film consists of stunning visuals of waste management activity in Johannesburg, and interviews of waste management stakeholders including waste pickers. The film will appeal to policymakers, waste pickers and their allies, activists, academics and others interested in the environment, the informal economy, waste and sustainable development.

Watch the video directly on our YouTube Channel or view it below

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://youtu.be/-a0RyVLRimc

Launch of Policy Brief

‘Include waste pickers! How to make waste management policy making better’ by Dr Allison Lindner.

This policy brief is a call to action for policymakers worldwide interested in integrating informal sector perspectives into their policymaking practices, and is based on Dr Allison Lindner’s legal research in South Africa.



Dr Allison Lindner is Lecturer in Law at UCL Faculty of Laws. Allison uses economic and sociolegal approaches to research waste, sustainable development and the informal economy. She runs the Waste Law Reading Group for early career  researchers. A legal researcher before becoming an academic, this Allison’s first film.


Dr Birsha Ohdedar is Lecturer in Climate Change and Environmental Law at SOAS University of London. Birsha’s work focuses on environmental and climate justice, human rights, climate litigation and water law, with a regional focus on South Asia. Prior to entering academia, Birsha practised environmental law at law firms and NGOs.

Film Directors

Premilla Murcott has over ten years of experience editing documentaries and television shows. She was one of the editors working on Time of Pandemics, a film that was broadcast on Al Jazeera and the South African Broadcasting Corporation in 2022. In 2019, Premilla worked as an editor on the award-winning film, How To Steal A Country and in 2021, Premilla won an award at the Canadian Labour International Film Festival, for her documentary entitled ‘Street Traders on the Move’. It can be viewed at: https://vimeo.com/506414667

Tricia Hlongwa has over a decade's experience in documentary, film and talk television including shows for the South African Broadcasting Corporation, BBC and Al Jazeera. She is a social impact content producer and director, focusing on issues of human rights, land rights, participatory democracy and the environment. Tricia has worked alongside international journalists such as Redi Tlhabi, Zeinab Badawi and Emmy award winning documentary director Rehad Desai. Her work is anchored in the theme of rights and responsibilities.

About the UCL Centre for Law and the Environment

The Centre for Law and Environment was established to provide a focal point for the UCL Faculty of Laws' outstanding expertise and academic strength in the field of the environment and the law. The main goals of the Centre are to advance research and teaching and explore the role of law in meeting contemporary environmental and energy challenges. The Centre is committed to treating domestic law (UK), regional (European Union) and international aspects of environmental law in a comprehensive and integrated manner. This approach is reflected in offerings on the LLM course and the supervision of doctoral students, as well as in the diverse range of research pursued by members of the Centre.

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Book your place

You can attend this event in-person at UCL Faculty of Laws (Bentham House, 4-8 Endsleigh Gardens, London WC1H 0EG) or allternatively you can join via a live stream.

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