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FIGHTING POVERTY AND PROTECTING THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT: THE REFUSE COLLECTORS OF RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL

Authors


  • Article presented at the 2011 Symposium on Governance and the Eradication of Poverty: New Perspectives from Multidisciplinary Analysis—IPAID, Yonsei University, Wonju Campus, South Korea, 20–22 October 2011.

R. F. Pinto, Av. Rui Barbosa 624 ap. 1001, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. E-mail: rgrpinto@yahoo.com

SUMMARY

This paper reviews and documents a unique approach to poverty reduction targeting a segment of urban poor in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: the collectors of recyclable materials discarded by urban residences and businesses, along with their refuse. The approach is unique for Brazil because it combines assorted policy objectives at different governmental levels, two socially/security valued, two environmentally valued and one economically valued. The paper specifically seeks to (a) determine the current profile of collectors, both social and economic; (b) assess the current state of play of the dwindling collectors cooperatives programme, including perceptions of its performance by different stakeholders; (c) describe the current practices and players in the collection of recyclables, with its associated implications; (d) reconstruct the role of key players with a focus on the operational policies and administration of the programme by municipal departments; (e) assess the current priority among social and environmental objectives of the waste collection programme of the municipal government; (f) draw conclusions and recommendations on policies and administration for such programmes, to improve the social outcome for the collectors while still achieving the associated environmental objectives; and (g) draw some comparisons with other Latin American countries that have engaged in similar programmes. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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