To describe the perception of recyclable material collectors on their daily workloads; to present a proposal of nursing care towards the minimization of the effects of these workloads on the well-being of the collectors.
Qualitative, convergent-care research with 11 recyclable material collectors from a Brazilian recycling association. Data production involved participant observation, semi-structured interviews and convergence groups from April to June 2015. The analysis followed the steps: apprehension, synthesis, theorization, transference.
Physical workloads were associated with noise, exposure to chemical and biological waste, unpleasant thermal sensation, floods, weight and repetitive movements. Psychic workloads were represented by worries and emotional exhaustion. The appreciation of the participants' reality and the dialogue were paramount to trigger the assistance action.
The intense workloads have physical and psychic repercussions; however, it is possible to minimize them through nursing actions.
Nursing; Occupational health; Workload; Solid waste segregators; Qualitative research; Community-based participatory research