With ever-growing volumes of urban waste being generated, SIG has launched a bold new recycling initiative to benefit both communities and businesses
In cities all over the world, a silent problem is growing. With rapid population growth and urbanisation, city waste is reaching unprecedented levels. According to research by the World Bank, municipal solid waste is expected to rise to 2.2bn tonnes by 2025 – nearly double the waste generated in 2012. This amounts to more than $375bn in annual costs for waste management, including collection and disposal.
Managing waste properly is essential for building sustainable and liveable cities but it comes at a price. Waste management can often comprise up to 50% of municipal budgets. Thus, placing a huge burden on city infrastructures – particularly in fast-growing countries such as Brazil. The country generates over 176,000 tonnes or urban solid waste daily. And, though 35% is potentially recyclable, just 4.5% is currently recycled.
Brazil’s recycling challenge is one that SIG is actively working to resolve through a bold new initiative with Recicleiros. For the past decade, the non-profit organisation has been supporting sustainable waste management in Brazil by attempting to increase the amount of recycled material, while also generating work and income opportunities for waste-pickers.
Together, SIG and Recicleiros have launched a new project. This is to help Brazilian municipalities implement and maintain more efficient selective collection and recycling systems. As part of a broad and wide-reaching strategy, the project will support local municipalities in a number of ways. These include everything from communication, education and training to logistics, financing and meeting regulatory demands.
Taking a holistic approach
The current selective collection systems of Brazilian cities face a number of technical and economic difficulties that often make their operation unfeasible. So, with the support of SIG and Recicleiros, municipalities will be able to achieve more holistic collection systems that benefit both communities and businesses.
For communities, the initiative will help make a positive impact on the environment. It will generate work opportunities and also mitigate the root cause of various diseases. That by helping eliminate mosquito breeding sites at dumping grounds. For businesses, the project can help ensure more environmentally-friendly supply chains. This, since more packaging materials can be recycled and reused as part of an efficient reverse logistics system.
Reverse logistics comprises all operations related to the reuse of products and materials. So, in an efficient reverse logistics system, private companies can reduce inefficient collection processes and transportation. They can also reduce carbon emissions and save operational costs.
This is a great advantage for businesses in Brazil where its National Solid Waste Policy calls for a shared responsibility between government, people and companies. This including the latter’s investment in reverse logistics for their packaging. The new selective collection and recycling initiative from SIG and Recicleiros will therefore enable the business sector to make safer investments and ensure more reliable reverse logistics activities.
SIG’s partnership with Recicleiros in Brazil is yet another step forward in its WAY BEYOND GOOD – a commitment to contribute more to society and the environment than it takes out as part of a net positive ambition.