Spotlight on Impact: “We can increase the pay, by 50%, of around 30 members who work as waste pickers and sorters”

In the next in our series looking at the impact of additional funding on CAH projects, we meet Coopama, operating in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Coopama was founded in 2004 in Rio de Janeiro and by 2020 had around 71 associates. The cooperative is very well developed and performs wide-scale solid waste recovery, collection, sorting, disposal, in many contexts including official municipal collection, big waste generators, urban areas (events), ecobarriers in rivers. The cooperative also offers consultancy and lectures on waste management. They work with almost all kinds of non-hazardous waste, including e-waste, vegetable oil, and wood, and have developed a joinery program to build and refurbish used furniture. They also built and run a solid waste ‘museum’ where they welcome students from colleges and universities for environmental education activities.

Administrative Manager, Coopama, Luana Fernandes, spoke to us about the impact additional funding has had on the operation. “We received BVRio’s funding in December 2020 and it has already helped the cooperative a lot. We were able to keep the payment of taxes up to date, increase the pay by 50% of around 30 members who work as waste pickers and sorters, install fans for the sorting area in the shed and renovate our electrical installations. The resources also helped in the regularisation of the cooperative’s licensing. With this money, we were able to continue with the work of the cooperative during the pandemic and make all of these improvements.”

“Going forward, we want to provide training courses for the cooperative members and help in the recovery of the documents of some employees. We would also like to install new flooring to help with cleaning and paint our buildings. All these improvements would bring the possibility of new projects, help us be more organised and we can receive more visitors. Our focus now will be on the social development of the cooperative members and the design of new projects.”