Minha Coleta, Brazil, wasteless future, recycling, start-ups, circular economy, resource management

Ingrid Fonseca, Jorge Eduardo, Lennon Jesus and Fernando Gomes founding members of Minha Coleta

This is a guest post by my friend Gisele Benedicto,  an ISWA Young Professionals Group Member. Gisele was invited to provide consulting services for the startup Minha Coleta, a mobile application company located in the city of Mesquita, in the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, bringing her market experience to the group, advising in the development of an new business model capable of get the necessary support of citizens, aiming a better and efficient waste management to all involved. As you will see Gisele understands that the existing services in the most part of Brazilian cities, focused only on the collection and permanent disposal of waste, does not encourage the participation of domestic generator, since the collection vehicles hired by the districts, simply collects all waste and send it off to landfills or dumpsites. So here are het thoughts and ideas for a disruptive business model that will drive closed loops and recycling in Brazil.

“In the recent report published by ABRELPE, the ISWA Brazilian representative, the National Panorama of Solid Waste 2016, presented the information that the Brazilians are generating more waste and at the same time recycling less, compared to the indicators published in previous years. Despite the fact that there is a more or less proper national policy focused to regulate and stimulate the management of waste at the federal, regional and municipal level, Brazil is still far away from what is called sustainable management of household waste.

Some Brazilian cities, especially those located in the south of the country, have good indicators of waste collection and recycling. However, the national percentage of waste recycled is just over 3% of the total amount of waste generated. Then someone realises that the few good examples throughout Brazil are not enough to motivate the implementation of similar programs across the country.

So the question is, even counting the specific legislation, and some ongoing successful waste management programs, why the selective collection and recycling programs are not yet a reality in Brazil?

Experts that try to explain this fact, address topics ranging from the implementation of environmental education programs without success, as well as the lack of commitment of public managers to all aspects involving waste management. In fact both justifications are correct, however, it is important to highlight that the implementation of waste management programs in places as Brazil, will depend largely on how the services on waste are performed, and the main objective of these types of service.

The business model adopted by cooperatives and waste pickers, despite being considered the gear that moves the Brazilian recycling rates, is not efficient. Their processes work rudimentary and with low efficiency, since only the waste that has commercial demand and attractive prices, are effectively collected and made available in the logistics chain of recycling.

It is important to highlight the shift: new business and services are targeting the individuals, rather than the public in general

Thus, aiming the inclusion of all household waste generated in waste logistics chain, the startup Minha Coleta will facilitate the waste collection process to domestic generators, returning to the generators themselves, part of the amounts collected from the sale of waste, as credits to be exchanged in the local market.

Existing business models that offer waste services need to be adjusted to the social reality. Citizens have already found a new way to use services, to acquire new products, and share experiences through the disruptive business models. It is important to highlight the shift: new business and services are targeting the individuals, rather than the public in general. The results expected from the implementation of waste management projects should be the combined result of individual actions, not only the result focused in a collective demand.

Such a scope of work allows the business related with waste management to adopt disruptive concepts towards circular economy, and to present good results of recycling and sustainability. It’s the time to define the challenges involved in waste management as challenges beyond mere sanitary problems, allowing innovative start-ups like Minha Coleta to adopt a trading relationship with domestic waste generators, turning all citizen aware of and active participants in the recycling programs.”

You can contact Gisele Benedicto at giselebenedicto@gmail.com

Minha Coleta website: www.minhacoleta.com

1 Comment
  1. Ngo huy Liem 7 years ago

    Excellent ideas using mobile technolgies to address individuals, understanding their behaviors.
    Dr. Ngo huynLiem
    Enda Vietnam

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