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Forage Tracking (114)


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At the MIT Global Challenge:

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Forage Tracking (114)

  1. 1. Forage Tracking: Tools for Participatory Recycling Management <ul><li>In São Paulo, 90% of all recycled materials are collected by informal recyclers, the “catadores” (M. Medina 2009). </li></ul><ul><li>Catadores work individually or in worker-owned cooperatives. </li></ul>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. 2. The New National Solid Waste Law <ul><li>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“ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Official recognition of the catadores </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cities and private companies must use cooperatives for recycling services </li></ul></ul><ul><li>„ This law sanctions the social inclusion of workers, who for many years were forgotten and mistreated by the public power.“ Severino Lima Jr. (MNCR) </li></ul><ul><li>but: the law also creates new challenges by forcing cooperatives to professionalize and compete with other private companies . </li></ul>
  3. 3. Understanding Foraging <ul><li>The cooperatives operate on Tacit Knowledge (Michael Polanyi) - implicit knowledge that is not documented and difficult to verbalize & articulate. </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore, most cooperatives are not ready to take full advantage of the new law's opportunities. </li></ul><ul><li>A formalization strategy, better spatial coordination and a business model would allow the catadores to scale up their services and improve their own livelihood . </li></ul><ul><li>Connecting cooperatives with private businesses /residents would be beneficial, but a relationship of trust needs to be established . </li></ul>
  4. 4. Turning Tacit Knowledge into Explicit, Actionable Knowledge <ul><li>using GPS tracking </li></ul><ul><ul><li>for investigating foraging strategies in the urban environment, using the trace as a stimulus for qualitative interviews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>for building a spatial knowledge base of annotated traces for planning routes and operations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>as method for gathering data during the collection process in daily operations; a low-barrier alternative to manual data entry </li></ul></ul><ul><li>developing a business model </li></ul><ul><ul><li>improve coordination between cooperatives for optimizing processes, aggregating materials, and creating higher-value products </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. A Platform for Participatory Recycling Management <ul><li>Companies can schedule pickups for discarded materials; a service they would have to pay for otherwise </li></ul><ul><li>Residents would have a direct contact for arranging the disposal of their recyclables and learn how to dispose properly </li></ul><ul><li>Cooperatives would get information about where to get what material; making collection easier </li></ul><ul><li>Cooperatives could build a trusted relationship with Companies / Households </li></ul><ul><li>Our platform is designed for low-tech environments and builds upon the technology available in the cooperatives, i.e. simple, pre-paid cell phones </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Bigger Picture <ul><li>Cities all over the world become harder to manage ; both urbanization and de-urbanization strain the provision of municipal services. </li></ul><ul><li>Through formalization, informal recyclers can achieve respectable income, social status and improve their working and living conditions (M. Medina) </li></ul><ul><li>Our project is a step towards bottom-up, technology mediated, socially responsible urban infrastructures; facilitating the participation of citizens and inclusion of marginalized groups . </li></ul>exploratory field trip Jan. 2011