Recycling in Brazil

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Brazil's overall recycling rate is better than average, especially in larger cities such as Rio de Janeiro [1].Overall, Brazilian recycling rates are fair, especially concerning paper, steel and aluminum, despite the fact that there are no structured municipal recycling programs [1]. Only 6.4% Brazilian Municipalities have official waste recycling programs [2].The recovery of recyclable material is largely left to waste pickers, who earn a living by collecting recyclables and selling them to private recycling companies [1].

Main Leader[edit]

Businesses in Brazil are taking a lead role in organizing recycling collection in the country's major cities [3]. In 1992, private companies from various areas (aka "heavy polluting companies") established the Brazilian Business Commitment for Recycling (CEMPRE), a nonprofit organization work for the promotion of recycling within the scope of comprehensive waste management as an initiative to build a better environmental image for their associates [1][3][4]. CEMPRE tries to increase the community's awareness of recycling and other solid waste issues through publications, technical research, seminars, and databases [1][3][4].

Waste pickers[edit]

The collection of recyclable material in Brazil is largely from waste pickers [1]. Waste picking activities are supported by government. In Brazil waste picking is now recognized as an occupation [5]. And organized waste pickers are seen as legitimate stakeholders who can voice their opinions at the local, state, and national levels [5].

A national program, named Integrated Solid Waste and Carbon Finance Project, is developing strategies for incorporating waste pickers into local waste management systems [5]. Organizing waste picking activities into recycling cooperatives has been one of CEMPRE's main activities as well [3].

Materials[edit]

In Brazil, the main materials for reprocessing are aluminum, steel, glass, paper and plastics [6]. They also recycle batteries, cooking oil, laminated material, refrigerators and so on [6][7]. The result of aluminum recycling is the most significant [8].

Paper[edit]

In 2006, Brazil recycled 3.9 million tons, or 45 percent, of the paper materials produced that year [1]. Taking into consideration only the paper used in packaging, the recycling rate is even higher at 70 percent [1]. In Brazil, industries consume 2.8 million tonnes of recycled paper [9]. The paper recycling amount in Brazil varies greatly from area to area [9]. In the south and southeast area, rates of recycling are high, at 64% and 44% respectively; whereas it is 16% in other area [9].

Aluminum Can[edit]

In 2005, the country managed to recycle an incredible 96 percent of the aluminum cans sold that year – almost 9.4 million cans [1]. It is collected and stored by a chain comprising about 2,000 scrap collectors [10]. 50% of the collectors are industries, and the others are supermarkets, schools, companies, and charitable entities [10].

Steel Can[edit]

In Brazil, just 5% of cans for drinks are made of steel [11]. In 2007, Brazil’s recycling rate for steel can was 49 percent [1]. If steel recycled from all the segments using steel, such as old cars, household electronics and building waste, are taken into account, the Brazil recycling rate of steel product are expected to be 70% [11].

Tires[edit]

57% of the 260,000 tonnes of used tires estimated to be thrown away each year in Brazil were sent to cement ovens in Brazil [12]. In Brazil, used tires are applied to make artificial reefs in the sea, to increase fisheries production [12]. Energy can be recovered by burning the tires in controlled ovens, because each tire contains the energy of 9.4 liters of petroleum oil [12].

Plastic[edit]

17.5% of both rigid and film plastic is recycled on average in Brazil [13]. 60% of the recycled plastic comes from industrial residue and 40% from urban refuse [14].

Refrigerator[edit]

There is a comprehensive of refrigerator recycling program in Brazil [15]. They recycle refrigerators and freezers in order to reduce the potential global warming, because contain chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) which are ozone layer depleting gases with extremely high global warming potential (GWP) [15].

References[edit]

[1] Look, M. 2009. Trash Planet: Brazil. Earth911.com. Available on line: http://earth911.com/news/2009/08/17/trash-planet-brazil/. Verify Feb 14th, 2010.

[2] Ribeiro, H., Besen, G. R., Günther, W. R., Jacobi, P., and Demajorovic. 2005. Recycling Programs in partnership with scavenger associations as sustainability factor in metropolitan São Paulo, Brazil.

[3] United States Environmental Protection Agency. 2002. How to Establish Recycling and Composting Programs. United States Environmental Protection Agency.

[4] CEMPRE. No date. Brazilian Business Commitment for Recycling (CEMPRE). CEMPRE. Available on line: http://www.cempre.org.br/ingles/cempre_institucional.php. Verify Feb 14th, 2010.

[5] Medina, M. 2008. The informal recycling sector in developing countries. GRIDLINES. [PDF]

[6] Medina, H. V. 2008. Materials recycling: main trends of a new industrial sector in Brazil. Conference on resource efficiency. [PDF]

[7] Unilever. 2010. Brazil: Recycling consumer waste. Unilever. Available on line: http://www.unilever.com/sustainability/casestudies/environment/brazilrecyclingconsumerpackagingwaste.aspx. Verify Feb 14th, 2010.

[8] Tangri, N. 2001. Brazil & Recycling. GreenYes Archives. Available on line: http://greenyes.grrn.org/2001/01/msg00000.html. Verify Feb 14th, 2010.

[9] CEMPRE. No date. Office paper - The market for recycling. CEMPRE. Available on line: http://www.cempre.org.br/ingles/fichas_tecnicas.php?lnk=ft_papel_escritorio.php. Verify Feb 14th, 2010.

[10] CEMPRE. No date. Aluminum cans - The recycling market. CEMPRE. Available on line: http://www.cempre.org.br/ingles/fichas_tecnicas.php?lnk=ft_latas_aluminio.php. Verify Feb 14th, 2010.

[11] CEMPRE. No date. Steel cans – The market for recycling. CEMPRE. Available on line: http://www.cempre.org.br/ingles/fichas_tecnicas.php?lnk=ft_latas_aco.php. Verify Feb 14th, 2010.

[12] CEMPRE. No date. Tires – The market for recycling. CEMPRE. Available on line: http://www.cempre.org.br/ingles/fichas_tecnicas.php?lnk=ft_pneus.php. Verify Feb 14th, 2010.

[13] CEMPRE. No date. Plastic film – The market for recycling. CEMPRE. Available on line: http://www.cempre.org.br/ingles/fichas_tecnicas.php?lnk=ft_plastico_filme.php. Verify Feb 14th, 2010.

[14] CEMPRE. No date. Rigid plastic – The market for recycling. CEMPRE. Available on line: http://www.cempre.org.br/ingles/fichas_tecnicas.php?lnk=ft_plastico_rigido.php. Verify Feb 14th, 2010.

[15] Programme Proklima. No date. Introduction of a comprehensive refrigerator recycling programme in Brazil. German Technical Cooperation. [PDF]