Cleaning up Brazil′s waste management | Global Ideas | DW | 13.11.2019
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Global Ideas

Cleaning up Brazil's waste management

After the closure of the largest garbage dump in Latin America just outside Brasilia, a new project is pioneering sustainable waste management. Could it be a role model for other cities around the country?

Watch video 06:13

Brazil: Reforming the garbage economy

Project goal: The project ProteGEEr  supports the implementation of a national waste policy in Brazil. The project takes into account opportunities for climate protection through climate-friendly technologies and capacity development.

Project Implementation: The German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) advises ministries and municipalities as well as the private sector on the transition to more climate-friendly waste management. In addition, GIZ works with universities nationwide, for example in the development of postgraduate programs in waste management and the exchange between German and Brazilian science institutions.

Project Financing: Funded by the German Environment Ministry's International Climate Initiative (IKI).

Project duration: May 2017 — April 2021

Despite the passing of a waste policy in 2010 which ordered the closure of open dumps in Brazil, there are still 2,500 of them across the country. Mountains of trash and greenhouse gas emissions have continued to grow in Brazil.

However last year the largest garbage dump in Latin America was shut down just outside the capital, Brasilia, and replaced by a modern landfill and sorting facility. Nearly a thousand former garbage collectors, who previously lived on and from the dump, have been trained to work in the facilities.

The project, which aims to be a model for other Brazilian cities, is also working in collaboration with local universities and training prospective engineers in sustainable waste management to work towards making the industry more climate friendly on a larger scale. 

DW met some former garbage collectors to explore the progress being made and challenges ahead. 

A film by Bianca Kopsch

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