Waste Recycling and The Catadores of Brazil*



Case Code : CLBE002
Publication date : 2008
Subject : Business Ethics
Industry :
Length : 03 Pages


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Abstract: ICMR India ICMR India ICMR India ICMR India RSS Feed

With an increase in the awareness about the environment, the Brazilian government in association with several private organizations and NGOs organized the 'catadores' (human scavengers who acted as informal recyclers) into cooperatives to boost the nation's waste recycling rates. Experts viewed these initiatives as a potential form of sustainable development in which the catadores are able to generate a sustainable income and have improved self-perception while the country benefits from decreased costs associated with recycling.


Waste management.

Sustainable development.

Public policy.


In 2007, on the occasion of Christmas, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula), the President of Brazil, visited an association of 'catadores'. 'Catadore' is Portuguese for 'human scavenger' or 'rubbish collector'. The catadores, mostly seen in the larger cities of Brazil, especially in Brazil’s commercial capital Sao Paulo, picked up metal scraps, paper, plastic bags, etc., for recycling...

Questions for Discussion:
1. Critically analyze the waste recycle management practices in Brazil and the role of the Catadores in this endeavor. What are the potential benefits.
2. Do you agree that such informal recycling has the potential to be a form of sustainable development? Can this model be replicated by other developing nations that do not have sophisticated waste management systems?

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1. Germany's 'Green Dot' Waste Management System
2. Sustainable Packaging Practices at Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics
3. Sustainability Management at Nau Inc.

Key words:
Sustainable management, sustainable development, Waste recycle management, catadores, greenhouse gas, Canadian International Development Agency, Brazil, Sao Paulo

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