Written by Coordinadora Pro Clasificadores (CPC). 05/15/2014
As a response to information recently published about the current government-led public bidding process that aims to promote waste-to-energy in Uruguay, a pro-waste picker initiative in called the Coordinadora Pro Clasificadores (CPC) declares that:
1. To generate energy with waste means that the recyclable materials commercialized by the industries, the middlemen and the waste pickers — such as cardboard and plastics — will disappear from the market.
2. Waste-to-energy — no matter the technology that is used — is the option that provides the least amount of work to workers.
3. Waste-to-energy technology is expensive because it’s economically not viable and would need Uruguayan subsidies, which would be obtained through energy taxes.
4. To generate energy from waste is to address only one part of the problem — the final disposal — leaving many other important aspects aside, such as door-to-door collection and transport — an expensive and complex job — that the bidding company would not take on as it will earn based on the number of tons it receives.
The CPC considers it a profound error to prioritize waste-to-energy technology. Instead of doing this, the CPC proposes a national plan for solid waste management with social inclusion throughout the country, with the goal of reuse and recycling, and the inclusion and massive formalization of waste pickers.
We propose to substitute the work of the men, women, and children waste pickers now making a living in existing landfills throughout several states, with work that is economically, socially, environmentally and culturally dignified.
Montevideo, May 15, 2014
Signed by the Coordinadora Pro Clasificadores – CPC:
Asociação civil Retos ao Sur
AVE FENIX – Cooperativa Social de Clasificadores de Canelones
Centro Uruguay Independiente – CUI
Grupo de Clasificadores de Pando de TU ENVASE NOS SIRVE
Organización San Vicente (OSV) – Padre Cacho
Unión de Clasificadores de Residuos Sólidos Urbanos – UCRUS