Focal areas
Resource efficiency and circular economy
Linked project
Cooperativa Crescer

revolBRAS: First Results in the Field Study Extension with Waste Collectors' Cooperatives in São Paulo City

From mid-November 2022 onwards, the revolBRAS project team conducted an extended field study in Brazil with waste collectors’ cooperatives. The objective of the study was to collect data on the market potential of PET-containing waste. Five other “Cooperativas” participated in a gravimetric study to identify the PET content in the waste volumes in São Paulo City. The target materials were identified as PET-containing post-consumer waste which does currently not have any market value and cannot be recycled through already existing technologies in the country. After the month long training the waste collectors’ cooperatives began the sorting. First results of the study are already available.

The integration of informal waste pickers into the innovative business model of the revolPET® technology is one of the main goals of the revolBRAS project. To date, waste collectors are a marginalised group in Brazil. Nonetheless, informal waste pickers collect and sort a relevant share of residential waste Opposed to many other countries, informal waste pickers in Brazil are organised in so-called Cooperativas (eng.: waste collectors’ cooperatives). The revolBRAS project closely cooperates with these Cooperativas.

In June 2022, the project team conducted a first gravimetric study in a waste collectors’ cooperative in Ribeirão Preto City (São Paulo State) in cooperation with the University São Paulo to collect data on PET-containing waste factions. Thanks to a cooperation between RITTEC Umwelttechnik GmbH, Source One GmbH and Circulagem Assessoria em Gestão Ambiental e Sustentabilidade Ltda, the study could be extended  to also cover five Cooperativas in São Paulo City.

gesammelter Müll
Yield of the Cooperativas © Cooperativa Recifavela

First study results show that PET-containing wastes account for 1,8% of the total waste collected by the waste collectors’ cooperatives. Typically, those fractions would be  landfilled. After one month of monitoring and analysis, about 7,7 tons of PET-containing waste fractions were sorted by the five Cooperativas. Those numbers show the potential for the implementation of the innovative revolPET® technology in Brazil.

You can find further information on revolBRAS on the project website.