Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Based on Social Recycling: A Case Study with Waste Picker Cooperatives in Brasília, Brazil

Date

2023

Authors

Mesquita, Julia L.C.
Gutberlet, Jutta
de Araujo, Katiuscia P.
Cruvinel, Vanessa R.N.
Duarte, Fabiano H.

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Sustainability

Abstract

Solid waste is a major contributor to climate change due to the release of greenhouse gases (GHGs) during the decomposition of waste. As a consequence, waste should be avoided, and an appropriate destination should be given to all materials that are discarded. While not the only strategy, recycling is a fundamental process in addressing this problem. In 2013, a study carried out with one waste picker cooperative in São Paulo has paved the way to assessing the impact of recycling on GHG emission reduction, by using the methodological tools of the Clean Development Mechanism of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change. The objective of our study is to evaluate the applicability of this methodology to different work environments, measuring greenhouse gas emission reductions and energy saving as a consequence of recycling. Our study involves three waste picker organizations located in the city of Brasília, Brazil. The three cooperatives have made secondary data for 2019 on their material input and output available. The following variables were considered: type and amount of solid waste collected, type of machines used, energy sources and transport routes. The data analysis verified that waste picker organizations significantly contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and energy savings. We conclude that this methodology can be applied successfully to calculate emission reductions and energy savings from material recycling in different recycling contexts. Ultimately, this research recognizes the positive environmental and climate impact of the work of waste pickers, which needs to be recognized and remunerated.

Description

Keywords

greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), clean development mechanism (CDM), recycling, carbon credits, waste pickers

Citation

Mesquita, J.L.C.; Gutberlet, J.; de Araujo, K.P.; Cruvinel, V.R.N.; Duarte, F.H. Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Based on Social Recycling: A Case Study with Waste Picker Cooperatives in Brasília, Brazil. Sustainability 2023, 15, 9185. https://doi.org/10.3390/su15129185