Chilean recyclers launch workshops to professionalize their trade

Recyclers from Peñalolén, Quinta Normal, Santiago and Recoleta were trained to improve their involvement and associative management.

In order for mass recycling to become a formal, organized and recognized profession, a set of recyclers Metropolitan Region this Monday gave the green light for the “Strengthening, Leadership and Personal Development Program”. The initiative was developed within the Inclusive Communal Recycling (RIC) project, implemented by the Casa de la Paz Foundation and the National Movement of Recyclers of Chile (MNRCH), together with the municipalities of Peñalolén, Quinta Normal, Santiago and Recoleta.

Today there are almost 60,000 consecrated men and women in Chile recycle materials such as cardboard, plastic and bottles, among others, those who face vulnerable conditions and receive low incomes. They collect about 70% of municipal solid waste that reaches recycling facilities, according to the organization that groups them. Therefore, its role in caring for the environment and society is not small.

For Carolina Carrasco, representative of the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) of the IDB in Chile, “the development of work and personal skills is fundamental in creating greater and better conditions of inclusion for this important sector of the population, which often develops its work in a way that is not very visible to the rest society, without valuing the contribution that recyclers make to care for the environment and the existing market opportunities around inclusive waste management.

The series of workshops – held by the International Center for Social and Cooperative Economy of the University of Santiago de Chile – began with a day of meetings and exchanges between local recyclers, aimed at highlighting the value of their trade in society. and the importance of training in management skills and strengthening your capacity for association. Both are key tools for improving your working conditions and successfully managing inclusive recycling management systems.

“This is an opportunity that will allow us to professionalize our work and finally dignify our work and the contribution we make to society to be respected by all,” said Gipsy Rubilar, a participating recycling company.

Additionally, at the workshops, they will learn soft skills, teamwork, leadership, and organization formation and coordination. After they complete the cycle and evaluate this knowledge, they will receive a certificate confirming their skills. In the next phase, they will receive training on recycling business management.

“With this activity, we are trying to open spaces for the participation of salvagers who make visible and dignified the important work they do. We want to change the prejudices that a large part of society has towards people who work on the street and live off what others throw away. We want to contribute to the creation of skills among recyclers, which facilitate their inclusion in the recycling value chain,” explained Pablo Valenzuela, executive director of the Casa de la Paz Foundation.

Regional initiative

At the regional level, it is worth highlighting the Regional Initiative for Inclusive Recycling (IRR), a program launched in 2011 by MIF and the Water and Sanitation Department of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Avina Foundation, the Latin American Network of Recyclers (Red – LACRE) and Coca- Cola Latin America with the aim of promoting the integration of informal recyclers of recyclable materials in Latin America and the Caribbean into the formal recycling market.

As part of the IRR, the Inclusive Communal Recycling project is being developed in Chile, in which Fundación Avina and strategic allies from the private sector, Coca Cola, Gerdau Aza, Pepsico, BASF, Tetra Pak, and from the public sector, such as the municipalities of Peñalolén, Santiago, Recoleta, are participating. and Quinta Normal.

In addition, the project is sponsored by the Ministry of the Environment and developed within the Santiago Recicla program led by Seremi de Medio Ambiente.

Meanwhile, the Extended Producer Responsibility (REP) Act, which requires companies to take responsibility for the waste generated by their addiction and directly involves recyclers in their role as waste managers, is being debated at the parliamentary level. The REP Law is an opportunity to make visible and formalize the activity carried out by grassroots recyclers.

Source: El Dinamo

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