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Coopervida – Cooperative of recycling material collectors of São Carlos

Coorpervida is a cooperative of collectors who recycle material in São Carlos. It produces material from solid residential waste, for instance, from glass, paper, cardboard, aluminum, plastic, etc. The group is formed by three garbage collectors cooperatives of São Carlos. They were established in 2002 and 2004 when the people who worked in the city’s landfill were removed from there. In 2002, the city of São Carlos established the Municipal Program of Selective Garbage Collection through the Municipal Secretariat of Technology, Science and Sustainable Development. Garbage collection was done weekly (through the system of going “door to door”) by the three cooperatives of collectors: COOPERVIDA, COOLETIVA and ECOATIVA.

After studies and several meetings with cooperatives, partners and supporters, it was possible to identify that the best strategy for selective garbage collection in São Carlos would be the unification of the three SEE. In March 2010, they were unified under the name of Coopervida – cooperative of recycling material collectors of São Carlos – for legal reasons, since it was the only cooperative that had its documents in place.

Coopervida has a service delivery contract with the Municipal Government of São Carlos, which assures basic infrastructure and a payment system when the cooperative reaches the goals presented in the contract. As the cooperative is a SEE, it is under the guidelines that rule the city regarding the Municipal Law of Solidarity Economy, besides being contemplated by the recently sanctioned Federal Law of Handling Solid Waste.

Nowadays, the cooperative is regular and has CNPJ (National Register for Legal Entity). It has a shed, three trucks and two press machines given by the city hall (predicted in the contract of service delivery for the city). The cooperative also has as its patrimony a unit for plastic processing, office equipment (2 computers, 1 printer and a file cabinet with documents) and a paper shredder. The cooperative is mainly composed of people who are only literate, black people and women.

NuMI-EcoSol’s main partner in dealing with the garbage collectors is the Municipal Government through the Department of Support and Promotion of Solidarity Economy (DSPSE). Another present partner is the Municipal Government Secretariat of Environment. Other institutions at UFSCar are also involved, such as the Tutorial Education Program from Production and Chemistry Engineering Department, as well as the Junior Enterprises from Production Engineering.

Besides the permanent partners – NuMI-EcoSol UFSCar and the Municipal Government (which are present since the beginning of the collectors work in São Carlos) – the collectors have also had the help of specific and temporary partners for ten years of their service to the city, such as: private companies (local, national and multinational), UniSol, UniTrabalho, Banco do Brasil, etc.

 

 

Photo of the Selective Garbage Collection Cooperative of São Carlos celebrating its 10 years in its new shed, located in Jardim Ipanema.