Even though informal recyclers - in Portuguese called “catadores” - contribute positively to environmental protection and resource efficiency, they are among the most vulnerable and marginalized groups in Brazilian cities. The TUMI project “Re-ciclo” in Fortaleza seeks to improve the livelihood of catadores and, at the same time, increase Fortaleza’s recycling rates by introducing electric and manual cargo-bikes as an efficient and sustainable mode of transport. Through data collection and route optimization, the pilot also creates a valuable information basis to expand the use of cargo-bikes for further services of urban logistics in Fortaleza. Workshops, media campaigns, and sensitization activities build awareness among the population on waste separation, recycling, and the benefits of cycle-logistics.
Baseline data collection: Gathering data on mobility patterns and recycling rates of catadores in Fortaleza.
August - 2019
Meeting with associations: In addition to on-site visits to the associations of catadores, the City Hall's Technical Team organized focus groups.
January to March - 2020
Accreditation of associations and procurement planning: The accreditation was done in two phases. In the first phase, 3 associations were registered.
May - 2020 (COVID-19 Isolation)
Emergency support to catadores: During the isolation period food baskets and masks were distributed to the catadores.
May to August - 2020
Communication planning and network creation: Planning of communication actions (e.g. awareness campaigns).
August to November - 2020
Prototype of mechanical tricycles: Testing of mechanical tricycles by catadores, as well as adaption of workshops and door-to-door campaigns.
April to December - 2020
Tendering process: Tender for the acquisition of e-tricycles and repair kits.
January to April -2021
Accreditation of associations: In the second phase of the accreditation 5 more associations were registered (8 in total).
February - 2021
Delivery of the tricycles: 20 e-tricycles were delivered and five tricycle adaption workshops were held to train around 20 catadores.
May - 2021
Adaption of the e-tricycle: Adjusting the model to meet the needs of the catadores.
June - 2021
Capacity Buidling: Mechanical workshops for catadores on maintenance of e-tricycles and basic repairs (e.g. break adjustments).
June to July - 2021
New tenders: Preparing new tenders for the expansion of 'Re-ciclo' to other areas of the city.
July to August - 2021
Accreditation of associations: 12 of the 14 associations of catadores in Fortaleza are accredited in the project.
August - 2021
Door-to-door campaigns: Raising awareness by conducting door-to-door campaigns.
The project introduces locally produced e-tricycles with a cargo area, which enable catadores to use the existing infrastructure to make the waste collection safer and more efficient. The project includes the training of catadores in the maintenance of the tricycles and the implementation of awareness campaigns . Besides improving the recycling policy and working conditions for catadores and improving the sustainable transport, the project also initiates and tests the usage of electric tricycles as a solution for urban logistics in general. The experiences from the project provides a basis for city planning to support widespread introduction of mechanical and electric cargo tricycles for the catadores. Scaling this project would dramatically increase the recycling rates in Fortaleza while promoting sustainable mobility solutions.