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Enhancing the social value of the circular economy in Latin America


There is an increasing interest in the circular economy to tackle the challenge of finite resources for sustainable development. Ample attention is given to economic and ecological value from an international perspective, but less attention is paid to the social consequences at the local level. In many development countries the poorest families often survive by sorting garbage and selling recyclable materials. This projects wants to study the possibilities for Latin America of incorporating informal recycler cooperatives in the circular economy. It will analyze the current situation and explore the potential for informal recyclers, in two complementary cases in Ecuador: one case with good practice in integrated waste management, but limited experience with informal recyclers (Cuenca), the other case with interesting organizational experience with recycler cooperatives, but disastrous waste management from an environmental and health perspective (Portoviejo).

Intervention type

TEAM projects


01/01/2018 - 31/12/2021

This project is being implemented in:
Flemish promoter Simon De Jaeger
Local promoter María Fernanda Solíz Torres
Local partner institution KU Leuven
visit www.kuleuven.be
Local partner institution Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar
Other Flemish Partners Universiteit Antwerpen
visit www.uantwerpen.be
Other local partners Universidad de Cuenca
visit http://www.ucuenca.edu.ec/
Budget € 271.692