PROLixo Project

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The “PROLixo” is a project of solid waste management, first implanted in Brazópolis, in June , 2006, in partnership with the city hall, which mainly operates by sorting the garbage (categorizing recyclable and non-recyclable garbage) produced by the whole city, and by sensitizing the population to the importance of such sorting to be performed in each one’s house.

Our project is becoming a regional reference, and receives regular visits from managers of several cities who are interested in replicating it in other locations.

Since the start of the project’s period of execution by the Grupo Dispersores, the local environment and community have already noticed many benefits. Among them, we can highlight:

– Regularization of the waste sorting plant residue grounding system, with an adaptation of the town’s landfill, previously known as “The Dump”;

– Reduction of approximately 600 tons of waste to be disposed on the landfill;

– Increase in the landfill’s useful life in 120%, with possibility to be further increased, preventing that new areas need to be compromised by being used as our society’s dumpster;

– Permanent employment and revenue generation, besides a large number of indirect jobs;

Urban solid waste, popularly known as “communitarian waste”, are a result of household and commercial activity by society. Its composition varies from population to population, depending on the socio-economic situation and on the conditions and habits of people in the location. Such waste needs a special destination so that it doesn’t end up polluting the environment and the beings living in it. Our town has only 14,450 (IBGE 2007) residents, which produce approximately 6 tons of waste a day. Half of that is from the urban perimeter. Only the urban area’s residents produce about 6 tons of waste a day.

From the Latin word “vastus”, which means unoccupied or uncultivated, the word “waste” is used to refer to every junk discarded by society, mainly those that are produced at home. According to IBGE’s surveys, Brazil’s waste production per capta/day varies between 450g and 1,200g, according to the population’s size. Cities with less than two hundred thousand residents produce between 450g and 700g per capta/day. Cities with over two hundred thousand residents produce between 700g and 1,200g per capta/day. Surveys show that 64% of Brazilian cities dispose of their waste inadequately, with no sanitary or environmental control, creating the so-called dumps.
When inadequately treated, society’s waste bring several inconveniences to the population, such as landscape degradation, proliferation of pathogenic agents, ground and underground water contamination, bad smell, overexploitation of natural resources, and others that reduce the quality of life of the community.

The project “PROLixo” aims at reducing the quantity of waste disposed of on the town’s landfill by turning much of said waste into raw material to be reused. The project mainly operates from the city hall’s waste-sorting facility, located in the neighborhood of Loba. The project also includes activities related to the promoting of the selective waste collection carried out by the whole town. With this project, the NGO Grupo Dispersores keeps 9 employees (coordinators, waste sorters and a machinery operator) Now, we can safely say that approximately 45% of the 6 tons of waste collected daily by trucks in Brazópolis is recycled. Nowadays, the material is sorted out in accordance with a list of 33 factors, among which are cardboard, aluminum, PVC, PET, HDPE, Tetra Pak, glass, paper, etc.

We are focused on one objective, which is the reduction of the quantity of waste kept in nature, and our main strategy to achieve that goal is the intensification of selective waste collection activities in the waste sorting facility. Furthermore, we aim at raising awareness within the community of Brazópolis about the matter, by encouraging them to sort waste in their own houses, which would bring huge improvements to the project.
The transformation of the population’s habits towards sorting organic and inorganic waste at home is of key importance to correspond to the community’s reality, where natural resources, such as water, minerals and even space, become scarcer and scarcer, and the impact men have over the environment has proved itself catastrophic over and over again.

V.H.P. – Voluntary Handover Point of Batteries and Fluorescent Lamps

The Voluntary Handover Point is located in the Municipal Market, and it was created by the Grupo Dispersores for the population to correctly dispose of their fluorescent lamps and batteries of any kind, preventing those types of waste to go to the town’s landfill, worsening the ground and water pollution. Some chemical components of these supplies, such as Lead, Cadmium, Mercury and Nickel, have properties capable of causing severe disorders to the human and environmental health. It is necessary for these supplies to have appropriate destination.

Benefits of Recycling

The results of recycling are expressive in the environmental, social and economic fields. In the environmental field, recycling can reduce the progressive accumulation of waste, the need of extracting more raw materials from the environment (such as the case of producing aluminum items, which would demand mining for even more aluminum ore), the high use of power and water needed for the deputation of the raw material, among so many other negative factors. In the economic field, recycling contributes to the birth of a new market niche, which has been generating countless jobs. In the social field, recycling not only provides a better quality of life for people through environmental improvements, but it has also increased the quality of life of the people who have directly worked in this type of activity.

Translated by:magmatranslation