Work Together (Archive)

Social inclusion through recycling: the Argentinian example

17 December 2015

With man came waste, from the first civilizations to today’s big hubs, it’s an issue still growing. With fire came pollution by waste burning, a trend creating preoccupying problems. With paper came the doubling of the production of solid waste. For a while we didn’t realize the effect that this had on our planet but after a number of years the issue became such an evidence that man had to start finding solutions.

The possibility for worker cooperatives to offer garbage collection services in Argentina has led to the assimilation of the values and principles that define our enterprises: the protection of the environment and labor conditions of the works have become known concepts within the business development of these organizations.
The organization of cardboard manufacturer was created in the 90’s, in the province of Buenos Aires. It was linked to different grassroots organizations, cooperatives and civil organizations and emerging enterprises. The cardboard sector, collecting and recycling have become a platform through which policy makers can reach the most vulnerable sectors in society.

The possibility to carry out social inclusion in those sectors as well as the human being’s integration in the environment that surrounds him through self-management and self-sufficiency topics that were underlined. The recycling cooperatives affiliated to the CICOPA member FECOOTRA, the federation of worker cooperatives of the Argentinian republic; aim not only at self-management but also at the protection of the environment, the respect of the human being and equality between all men. It is fundamental to focus on the working conditions of every worker in order to carry out new projects.

« Our partners use a realistic approach when collecting waste ; they wish to increase the added value of the recycled objects. By creating useful products out of recycled materials they fulfill two missions: they protect the environment and avoid polluting, and they gain income that increases their capital as well as the retirement of their members” FECOOTRA states.

FECOOTRA created the recycling enterprises commission and fosters its growth; its goal is to work on the building of an inclusive country that reduces environmental pollution and protects the environment. « We work towards creating an environment within which garbage men, recycling enterprises and social organizations can share and debate their experiences and ideas to strengthen the concepts of self-management, administration, and commercialization. This is very efficient in the framework of the social economy” FECOOTRA concludes.

With the recycling enterprises commission, FECOOTRA assumes that our planet is a closed cycle and that everything we create here stays here meaning that the more waste we transform the better life will be for the future generations.