Improve the lives of the hundreds of street garbage pickers in Recife, whilst preserving the environment, by getting businesses to sign up to the Edificio Ecologico project

Edificio Ecologico (The Ecological Building Project) works to implement recycling opportunities in high-rise residential and business buildings, as well as in schools, in the Recife area. The main objective of Edificio Ecologico (EE) is to improve the city’s environment and the lives of the hundreds of street garbage pickers who rummage through the garbage throughout the city of Recife.

It’s a pioneer venture that until now primarily convinces middle-class families to recycle the materials that they would otherwise throw away with the conventional rubbish. Increasing recycling practices has a significant impact on the environment – saving electric energy and the earth’s raw materials. And what makes this project really exciting is that it also empowers and improves the garbage picker’s working conditions, as well as raising their family’s total monthly income.

EE did a placement with TIE in 2009 where a communications campaign was prepared to reach more building managers of high-rise buildings of middle class families, and convince them to adhere to separating their recyclables. The outcome from this campaign was fantastic. The goal was to create and launch a communications campaign that would help implement the EE project in 100 buildings in 1 year. They did not get 100 buildings in one year, but were able to get 200 buildings in 2 years – which proves that there is a demand for the service.

Now, EE envisions a communications campaign that focuses on businesses in the city of Recife, to get them to separate and donate their recyclables to local street garbage pickers.

Recife is a city of 2 million set in a Metropolitan area of 5 million people. It has over 8,000 high-rise residential buildings with the same characteristics of those who are already implemented and working with the recycling system of EE, and naturally a lot of businesses, general institutions and schools. EE has a good strategy for reaching the high-rise buildings and getting them to recycle, but has had some difficulty convincing businesses to do the same – separate their recyclables to help garbage pickers and contribute to preserving the environment in the process. The right communications strategy could double or triple the number of businesses and institutions involved, and in this way give the EE Project a real boom in its reach throughout the city, significantly increasing also the number of recyclable collectors (garbage pickers) favored by the project – possibly from the current 15 or so to 50 or perhaps 100.

Therefore, EE are looking to raise awareness of their service offering to increase the number of businesses and other institutions partnering with EE in Recife. This will not only help EE grow and continue their services, but further improve the environment within the Recife region and the lives of the city’s garbage pickers.



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