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Forage Tracking (114)

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At the MIT Global Challenge: http://globalchallenge.mit.edu/teams/view/114

At the MIT Global Challenge: http://globalchallenge.mit.edu/teams/view/114


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  • national movement – helped designing solid waste law opportunities challenges – forces to professionalize & compete with private b.
  • formalization is difficult – coops operate on tacit knowledge little coordination, planning, documentation need to develop business plans, but lack the data data would strengthen their position towards the city, who is less supportive
  • Transcript

    • 1. Forage Tracking: Tools for Participatory Recycling Management
      • In São Paulo, 90% of all recycled materials are collected by informal recyclers, the “catadores” (M. Medina 2009).
      • Catadores work individually or in worker-owned cooperatives.
      project team: Libby McDonald, Dietmar Offenhuber, Ciro Iorio, Christie Lin; Partners in São Paulo: Ceilia Dos Santos / USP, Rede Catasampa/MNCR, Flavia Scabin, Oscar Fergutz / AVINA
    • 2. The New National Solid Waste Law
      • The national network of cooperatives, Movimento Nacional de Catadores de Materiais Recicláveis (MNCR ) , helped shaping a new solid waste law: LEI No 12.305, 2nd August 2010, “Política Nacional de Resíduos Sólidos“
        • Official recognition of the catadores
        • Cities and private companies must use cooperatives for recycling services
      • „ This law sanctions the social inclusion of workers, who for many years were forgotten and mistreated by the public power.“ Severino Lima Jr. (MNCR)
      • but: the law also creates new challenges by forcing cooperatives to professionalize and compete with other private companies .
    • 3. Understanding Foraging
      • The cooperatives operate on Tacit Knowledge (Michael Polanyi) - implicit knowledge that is not documented and difficult to verbalize & articulate.
      • Therefore, most cooperatives are not ready to take full advantage of the new law's opportunities.
      • A formalization strategy, better spatial coordination and a business model would allow the catadores to scale up their services and improve their own livelihood .
      • Connecting cooperatives with private businesses /residents would be beneficial, but a relationship of trust needs to be established .
    • 4. Turning Tacit Knowledge into Explicit, Actionable Knowledge
      • using GPS tracking
        • for investigating foraging strategies in the urban environment, using the trace as a stimulus for qualitative interviews
        • for building a spatial knowledge base of annotated traces for planning routes and operations
        • as method for gathering data during the collection process in daily operations; a low-barrier alternative to manual data entry
      • developing a business model
        • improve coordination between cooperatives for optimizing processes, aggregating materials, and creating higher-value products
    • 5. A Platform for Participatory Recycling Management
      • Companies can schedule pickups for discarded materials; a service they would have to pay for otherwise
      • Residents would have a direct contact for arranging the disposal of their recyclables and learn how to dispose properly
      • Cooperatives would get information about where to get what material; making collection easier
      • Cooperatives could build a trusted relationship with Companies / Households
      • Our platform is designed for low-tech environments and builds upon the technology available in the cooperatives, i.e. simple, pre-paid cell phones
    • 6. The Bigger Picture
      • Cities all over the world become harder to manage ; both urbanization and de-urbanization strain the provision of municipal services.
      • Through formalization, informal recyclers can achieve respectable income, social status and improve their working and living conditions (M. Medina)
      • Our project is a step towards bottom-up, technology mediated, socially responsible urban infrastructures; facilitating the participation of citizens and inclusion of marginalized groups .
      exploratory field trip Jan. 2011