Curitiba providing recyclable waste collection to 100% of homes

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Brazil's Paraná state capital Curitiba has reached 100% coverage of homes served by the city's selective solid waste collecting system, for the purpose of recycling, Curitiba municipal solid waste coordinator Marilza Dias told BNamericas.

The goal of providing these services to the entire city was meet 18 years after the so-called "garbage that's not garbage" program was implemented, which started selective collection inside people's houses.

"Our recycling system is based on two issues: convincing the population to separate recycling material and having an effective logistics system to take this material and recycle it," said Marilza, who believes that this is the key to the program's success.

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The growing role of garbage collectors - unemployed people that started collecting recycling material to sell it as a way of making a living - is also considered by Marilza as a reason behind the program's success. The collectors are now responsible for 92.5% of the 550t of recyclable waste collected every day in the city.

Curitiba's program is considered a benchmark in the country and is used as a model for other Brazilian cities.

To read the whole interview with Dias, see this week's Perspectives, to be sent to subscribers on Friday.