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solid waste management

Um círculo virtuoso: a integração de catadores na gestão de resíduos sólidos

Martha Chen's picture
Also available in: English | Español | 中文
A questão dos resíduos sólidos - sua geração, coleta e disposição - é um grande desafio mundial do século 21. A reciclagem impulsiona a sustentabilidade ambiental, reduzindo as emissões de gases de efeito estufa e estimula a economia, por meio do fornecimento de matérias-primas e materiais de embalagem.
 
Os catadores de materiais recicláveis são os principais atores na recuperação de resíduos para a indústria de reciclagem. Em todo o mundo, um grande número de pessoas de baixa renda e comunidades desfavorecidas ganham a vida coletando e separando esses resíduos, e depois vendendo-os por meio de intermediários para a indústria de reciclagem. Onde outros veem restos, os catadores veem papel, papelão, vidro e metal. Eles são hábeis em separação e no empacotamento de diferentes tipos de resíduos por cor, peso e uso final para vender à indústria de reciclagem. No entanto, os catadores são raramente reconhecidos pelo importante papel que desempenham na criação de valor a partir dos resíduos gerados por outros e na contribuição para a redução das emissões de carbono.
 
Felizmente, ao redor do mundo, os catadores têm se organizado e as cidades começaram a promover o círculo virtuoso que vem com a integração de catadores, os recicladores do mundo, na gestão de resíduos sólidos.
 
O Brasil foi o primeiro país a integrar catadores, por meio de suas cooperativas, a sistemas de gestão de resíduos sólidos municipais e o primeiro a adotar uma Política Nacional de Resíduos, reconhecendo as contribuições de catadores e proporcionando um enquadramento jurídico para permitir que cooperativas de catadores sejam contratadas como provedores de serviço. Um contrato para limpar os estádios durante a Copa do Mundo foi concedido ao movimento nacional de catadores no Brasil.
 

A virtuous circle: Integrating waste pickers into solid waste management

Martha Chen's picture
Also available in: Português | Español | 中文
Waste – its generation, collection, and disposal – is a major global challenge of the 21st century. Recycling waste drives environmental sustainability by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and stimulates the economy by supplying raw materials and packaging materials.
 
Waste pickers are the principal actors in reclaiming waste for the recycling industry. Across the world, large numbers of people from low-income and disadvantaged communities make a living collecting and sorting waste, and then selling reclaimed waste through intermediaries to the recycling industry. Where others see trash or garbage, the waste pickers see paper, cardboard, glass, and metal. They are skilled at sorting and bundling different types of waste by color, weight, and end use to sell to the recycling industry. Yet waste pickers are rarely recognized for the important role they play in creating value from the waste generated by others and in contributing to the reduction of carbon emissions.
 
Fortunately, around the world, waste pickers have been organizing and cities have begun to promote the virtuous circle that comes with integrating waste pickers, the world’s recyclers, into solid waste management.
 
Brazil was the first country to integrate waste pickers, through their cooperatives, into municipal solid waste management systems and the first to adopt a National Waste Policy, recognizing the contributions of waste pickers and providing a legal framework to enable cooperatives of waste pickers to contract as service providers. The national movement of waste pickers in Brazil was awarded a contract to clean the stadiums during the World Cup.
 

Mauritania’s race against the rising sea

Nathalie Abu-Ata's picture
Photo by Nathalie Abu-Ata / World Bank


“If we don’t take action now…the city of Nouakchott will soon be underwater.” These words, spoken by Mauritania’s Minister on Environment and Sustainable Development Amedi Camara, during a recent workshop in the country’s capital city, echoed a recurrent theme during our visits with Mauritanian authorities and local communities alike. They have stuck with me since.

Floods are not a new phenomenon for Nouakchott. A busy port city on Africa’s west coast, Nouakchott is mostly below sea level and is particularly vulnerable to rising groundwater levels, seawater intrusions, porous soils, sand extractions, and heavy rains in low-lying areas. Poorly planned port infrastructure has dramatically altered the dynamic and flow of sediments along the coast leading to substantial erosion in the city’s south (up to 25 meters annually in some years).

To make matters worse, severe and sometimes deadly floods have struck the city in recent decades. Extreme weather and human interventions have played a significant role in making the capital, with one-third of the population, or 1 million people, increasingly vulnerable to floods.