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PRESS RELEASE

Brazil: New opportunities to improve working conditions of 5,000 waste pickers -- $2.7 million grant from Japan to benefit informal recyclers in urban landfills

January 28, 2011




Brasília, January 28, 2011 – The World Bank and the Governments of Japan and Brazil signed today a US$ 2.7 million grant from the Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF) for the Waste Picker Inclusion Initiative, which will benefit families who depend on the informal recycling of solid waste in urban landfills in Brazil. The Initiative will begin at the Rio de Janeiro landfills of Jardim Gramacho and Itaoca, and expand to other locations in Brazil to reach approximately 5,000 people in its first phase. The informal recyclers of Jardim Gramacho are featured in the recent Academy Award nominated documentary “Wasteland.” More than half of Brazilian cities have waste picker populations.

The Initiative, to be implemented by Brazil’s second largest urban development bank, the Caixa Econômica Federal, was developed in direct consultation with government, civil society, academia, as well as with informal recyclers and their representatives.have waste picker populations.  

"This donation from the Government of Japan comes at a crucial moment, after the sanction of Brazil’s Solid Waste Management Policy, which will encourage investment in the sector," said Makhtar Diop, World Bank Director for Brazil. "The project will develop innovative strategies and improve the quality of life of the people who now live and work in extremely hazardous social and health conditions."

The Initiative, to be implemented by Brazil’s second largest urban development bank, the Caixa Econômica Federal, was developed in direct consultation with government, civil society, academia, as well as with informal recyclers and their representatives.

The resources will support the development, through studies and the active participation of the informal recyclers themselves, of action plans to improve their working conditions and the incomes of their families, while helping ensure the sustainability of their activities, and will aim to:

  • improve health and safety conditions;
  • increase productivity and incomes (though scale, new investments and technical assistance);
  • formalize their work;
  • increase their access to credit and government services; and
  • develop work alternatives through training, job placement and support to cooperatives and MSEs.

The donation is coordinated with the Integrated Solid Waste Management and Carbon Finance Project, which received a US$ 50 million World Bank loan last November. The project aims to close six dumps by 2015, build modern sustainable landfills, increase the amount of solid waste sent to environmentally sustainable landfills by 4,000 tons per day, develop alternative facilities for waste treatment, and blend Carbon Finance into these activities.

The World Bank supports various other activities in the solid waste sector in Brazil, including Carbon Finance and knowledge exchanges with other countries.

Media Contacts
In Brasília
Mauro Azeredo
Tel : (+55 61) 9994-4389 (mobile)
mazeredo@worldbank.org
In Washington
Stevan Jackson
Tel : (1 202) 458-5054
sjackson@worldbank.org

PRESS RELEASE NO:
2011/310/LAC

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