Last update:
2020-01-20

Wastepickers mobilization against the carbonization of solid waste, Rondônia, Brazil

While promoted as a modern, ecofriendly solution to Brazil’s waste management problems, incinerator projects such as the one currently developed in Cacoal face broad civil society opposition, particularly from wastepicker groups and recycling initiatives.


Description:

A small incinerator for urban solid waste is currently being installed by the company Usitrar Eco-Energy in the town of Riozinho, in proximity to the city of Cacoal in the Brazilian State of Rondônia. [1][2][3]

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Wastepickers mobilization against the carbonization of solid waste, Rondônia, Brazil
Country:Brazil
State or province:Rondônia
Location of conflict:Riozinho, Cacoal
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Waste Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Waste privatisation conflicts / waste-picker access to waste
Urban development conflicts
Incinerators
Specific commodities:Domestic municipal waste
Recycled Metals
Charcoal
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Investment sum in the plant and carbonization technology was R$ 10 million. [6] It was expected to create 30 jobs, a tax revenue of R$ 1.5 million for the municipality, and new economic opportunities through the commercialization of generated coal. [4] However, as outlined above, wastepicker movements see 6,000 jobs endangered, of both informal recyclers and people emplyed in one of Rondônia’s 22 wastepicker cooperatives. [1] One cooperative alone reports to employ recycle material between 80 and 100 tons per month, particularly plastic and paper. [9]

Level of Investment:2,500,000
Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:6,000
Start of the conflict:2018
Company names or state enterprises:Industria de Tratamento e Transformacao de Residuos Ltda (Usitrar Eco-Energy) from Brazil - Operator of carbonization plant
Relevant government actors:Secretaria de Estado do Desenvolvimento Ambiental (Sedam)
Public Ministry of Rondônia (MP)
Municipality of Cacoal
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:-National Movement of Waste Pickers of Recyclable Materials in Brazil (MNCR)
-Coalizão Nacional contra a Incineração de Lixo
- Cooperativa de Catadores de Recicláveis (Coopercatar)
- Cooperativa Rondoniense de Catadores e Catadoras de Materiais Recicláveis (Catanorte)
- Zero Waste Alliance of Brazil
- Observatory for Inclusive and Solidarity Recycling of Brazil
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Informal workers
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Wastepickers, recyclers
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Global warming, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Health ImpactsPotential: Other Health impacts
Other Health impactsRespiratory and potentially carcinogenic impacts of emitted toxins
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Other socio-economic impacts
Other socio-economic impactsParticular impacts on informal recyclers with lower employability
Outcome
Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
New legislation
Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
Under negotiation
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Project temporarily suspended
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Sources & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Lei 12.305/10
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[14] MFM Soluções Ambientais (2018): Manifesto: Coalizão declara ‘Guerra’ contra a carbonização do lixo urbano. Portal Rondonia Vivo, 11.07.2018. (Online, last accessed 30.11.2019)
[click to view]

[15] Manifesto Resíduo Zero (2019): Incineração de resíduos em fornos de cimento: riscos para a saúde e o meio ambiente. 11.04.2019. (Online, last accessed 30.11.2019)
[click to view]

[16] Globalrec (2019): Brasil: Gran movilización contra la incineración de residuos. 12.09.2019. (Online, last accessed 30.11.2019)
[click to view]

[4] Portal Madeirão (2018): Decisão judicial remove entrave e Cacoal será pioneiro no país em gerar energia com lixo. 19.07.2018. (Online, last accessed 30.11.2019)
[click to view]

[5] Jornal 100 Limite (2018): População do distrito do Riozinho pedem socorro contra o Câncer “Usina de Incinerador de Lixo”. 19.08.2018. (Online, last accessed 30.11.2019)
[click to view]

[6] Santos, J. (2018): Autoridades visitam usina de carbonização de lixo em Cacoal e conferem tecnologia ecológica. Jornal Correio de Rondônia, 27.06.2018. (Online, last accessed 30.11.2019)
[click to view]

[7] Rolnews (2018): Prefeita de Cacoal suspende licença para queima de lixo. 22.06.2018. (Online, last accessed 30.11.2019)
[click to view]

[8] Prefeitura de Cacoal (2018): Cancelamento de certificado acaba com incertezas sobre usina no Riozinho. 21.06.2018. (Online, last accessed 30.11.2019)
[click to view]

[10] Tribuna Popular (2018): Catadores protestam contra usina de queima de lixo, em Riozinho. 16.08.2018. (Online, last accessed 30.11.2019)
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

[9] Agora (2018): Prefeita de Cacoal suspende licença para queima de lixo. 21.06.2018. (Online, last accessed 30.11.2019)
[click to view]

[11] Agora (2018): Catadores de Rondônia lutam contra a carbonização do lixo urbano. 20.08.2018. (Online, last accessed 30.11.2019)
[click to view]

Other documents

Wastepicker movement demonstrating in 2018 (Rogério Aderbal, Tribuna Popular)
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:EnvJustice Project (MS)
Last update20/01/2020
Comments
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