In the present study the challenges of circular economy and sustainable development are addressed, especially with regard to waste and the impacts it causes on businesses and the environment. Solutions and innovations for waste management that enable post-consumption reverse logistics and recycling are presented. The case study of the implementation of REDERESIDUOS at URBAM (Urbanizadora Municipal S.A.), the company responsible for the integrated management of solid waste in the city of São José dos Campos, SP, Brazil, is reported. After implementation, over 7000 tons of materials were diverted from landfills and returned to the production chain. Financial revenues were shown to account for less than 50% of total revenues and recycling benefits, for any type of material. The expected benefits were achieved, particularly with regard to the integrated management of recyclable waste, facilitation of routines, improved visibility and environmentally sound recycling of recyclable materials, as well as the earned annual values that completely ensure the financial and operational sustainability of the applied system.
An intense transformation in society is now occurring, with profound effects on the economy. While globalization and new technologies broaden the universe of citizens, consumers and businesses, impacts on planetary boundaries and the urgency of social inclusion also become more evident. Addressing these challenges will mark the coming decades and set forth a new scenario in the business world, with great opportunities for innovative companies attuned to emerging demands and the new possibilities to meet them. In the coming years, several of the large corporations of today will become obsolete, while companies that are currently in their infancy will flourish1.
The amount of Municipal Solid Waste generated worldwide has been estimated as 1.7 to 1.9 billion metric tons2. In many cases, cities and municipalities cannot cope with the accelerated pace of waste production, with low collection rates in low-income countries and over 50% being disposed through uncontrolled landfilling and about 15 % processed through unsafe and informal recycling3.
In this context, the current focus in this regard is the appearance of challenges regarding circular economy and sustainable development, especially concerning waste and the impacts it causes on business and the environment. Thus, the paths of Integrated Solid Waste Management and the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) are encouraged4, as well as solutions that integrate innovations and state of the art in waste management, enabling post-consumption reverse logistics, recycling, organic composting, shared responsibility and payment for environmental services.
Brazil’s National Policy for Solid Waste (NPSW)
In 2010, Brazil established the National Policy for Solid Waste (NPSW)5, Law No. 12,305, after 21 years of negotiations and broad social participation. It aims to decrease the total volume of waste produced nationally and increase the sustainability of solid waste management from the local to the national level, disciplining integrated management and the management of solid waste. It assigns responsibility to waste generators, the government and individuals or legal persons responsible, both directly or indirectly, for the generation of solid waste and aiming at the development of actions related to solid waste management. With a modern approach, the law has three key concepts, namely (i) integrated solid waste management; (ii) shared responsibility for the life cycle of products and (iii) reverse logistics.
Role of the holder of public urban cleaning services
Still regarding the scope of shared responsibility for the life cycle of products, it is the role of the holder of public urban services and solid waste management cleaning to observe the municipal plan for integrated management of solid waste, if such exists:
• Adopt procedures to recycle reusable and recyclable solid waste originating from public urban cleaning and solid waste management services;
• Establish selective collection systems;
• Liaise measures with the economic and social agents to facilitate the return of reusable and recyclable solid waste from urban cleaning and solid waste management services to the production cycle;
• Carry out activities defined by sectoral agreement or statement of commitment by remuneration payable by the business sector;
• Deploy a composting system for organic solid waste and organize ways to use the compost produced alongside economic and social agents;
• Give environmentally adequate final disposal to waste originating from public urban cleaning and solid waste management services.
Urbanizadora Municipal S/A – URBAM
URBAM (Urbanizadora Municipal S.A.), founded in 1973, is responsible for the integrated management of solid waste in the city of São José dos Campos. São José dos Campos is a municipality in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, which belongs to the Paraíba Paulista Valley Mesoregion and Microregion of São José dos Campos. It is the seat of the metropolitan region of the Paraíba Valley and North Coast, occupying an area of 1 099,6 km ², of which 353.9 km² are in the urban area, while the remaining 745.7 km ² form the countryside. In 2015, its population was estimated by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics at 688,597 inhabitants, the 7th most populous city in São Paulo and 27th in the country, being the second most populous city in inner Brazil.
In 2015, URBAM covers 95% of the urban area and 85% considering both the urban and rural areas and has over 3,000 employees. It collects 550 tons of general waste and 52 tons of recyclables by selective collection a day. It operated a screening central with its own employees and sells more than 7,000 tons of material each year, which subsequently return to production chains.
REDERESÍDUOS is an online platform that innovates in waste reverse logistics, management and marketing. It aims to promote the collection of waste, reducing cost of operations and ensuring management and marketing with competitive prices. This platform makes it possible to connect generators, who wish to sell, exchange, donate or allocate waste, with recyclers and treatment and disposal companies, that aim to buy, reuse or recycle waste, and carriers, enabling logistics operations.
In this context, the aims of the present study were to demonstrate the results of the implementation of the Management of Marketing Recyclable Waste Information System for waste sorted at the URBAM Waste Treatment Plant, including automation of the auction process of the materials.
In the second half of 2014 a biding by URBAM was made to hire a Recyclable Waste Commercialization Management Information System sorted at URBAM’s Waste Treatment Plant. The winning company was REDERESIDUO, which allocated a team of several technical staff, performed the implementation process, which lasted three months, by performing the following steps :
• System interface staff training
• Support to users for effective tool use;
• Monitoring of opportunities and registered negotiations; compiling prices and quotations by region materials;
• System Hosting on world wide web Internet computers
System interface staff training
The available system developed by REDERESIDUO and customized to URBAM’s reality demanded some changes in nomenclature and processes. This system operates with different access interfaces, each suited to the roles of the actors involved in the Integrated Solid Waste Management processes, as displayed in Figure 1.
Ten URBAM employees and about 25 recycler users, from several companies already operating in conjunction with URBAM, were trained in the use of the manager and generator interface. Each company received technical visits from both URBAM and REDERESIDUO.
User support for effective tool use
Online support was made available for all users, by phone or remote access during business hours. The amount of support hours was reduced because the system operates in a simple and intuitive way.
Monitoring of opportunities and negotiations
Monitoring of opportunities and negotiations, price compilation and material quotes on a regional basis were performed by URBAM technicians alongside REDERESIDUO technicians in biweekly follow-up visits.
System hosting on world wide Internet computers
The domain urbam.rederesiduo.com was released for registered user access. Three marketing grants were created, the first for training, used for user training and simulation, the second for routine and daily operations, used for daily management and fueled by invoices of recyclable sales, and the third specifically for auctions of materials of interest, used for sale of materials with most commercial interest.
The auction materials were auctioned in advance in lots based on the production expectations of the following month. Auctions ended before the 20th of each month, ensuring that daily operations would not be interrupted.
The system provides an externality calculator that, for each lot sold, implements the estimated positive net externalities6, according to the methodology recommended by the final report of the “Research on payment for urban environmental services for solid waste management” prepared by the Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA) in 20107.
Management benefits of economy values regarding landfills, based on values observed by URBAM itself, that operates the São José dos Campos landfill, were calculated at R$ 0.22/Kg for metal, paper, plastic, glass and others. Economy obtained by collection was not considered.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
During the 12 months that the RESERESIDUO system was implemented at URBAM, 912 lots of waste derived from several types of recyclable materials were sold, as listed in Table 1, per type of material, earned income and estimated externalities.
The earned annual values completely ensure the financial and operational sustainability of the system, since negotiated materials reached values of more than R$5 million, with landfill economy adding another R$1.5 million. In addition, externalities reached over R$ 7 million, which can be published as information of a social and environmental nature8. This shows both the participation and social responsibility of the organization to society, according to the Brazilian Accounting Standards - NBC T15 – Information of a social and environmental nature.
This clearly indicates that Urban Waste Management has a global impact and is universally applicable, in line with the goals for Sustainable Development at regional and local levels, as well as internally, in organizations, considering people, the planet, partnerships, prosperity and peace. Urban Waste Management also addresses 15 of the 17 goals for Sustainable Development:
Figure 2 displays the financial revenues observed during the 12 months of the REDERESIDUO system implementation. The financial revenues observed account for less than 50% of total recycling revenues and benefits, for any of the reported materials. For example, for glass, externalities ranged up to 73%, while for paper this value ranged up to 71%. For plastic and metal, externalities reached 52%.
The auctions allowed for contributions to transparency in the marketing of recyclable materials. Thus, indicators of the present study were generated both automatically and transparently, and enabled the creation of a business network made up of over 30 companies. In addition, financial return was boosted through the auctions, returning values about 10 % higher than the stipulated minimum bids based on historical values, since more than 10 companies participated in each auction, in fierce competition with each other.
Brazil’s NPSW was served, with the diversion of more than 7000 tons of material from landfills, which returned to the production chain in an irrefutable example of circular economy. The data were also made available to promote integration into the National Management of Solid Waste Information System (SINIR).
The expected benefits were achieved with the implementation of REDERESIDUOS system, particularly with regard to the integrated management of recyclable waste, facilitation of routines, improved visibility and environmentally sound recycling of recyclable materials, as well as the earned annual values that completely ensure the financial and operational sustainability of the system, ensuring both the participation and social responsibility of the organization to society, according to the Brazilian Accounting Standards - NBC T15 – Information of a social and environmental nature.
1 VIALLI, Andrea; ADEODATO, Sérgio. Guia de inovação para sustentabilidade em MPE. p. 22, n. 99.
2 UNEP (2010). Framework of global partnership on waste management, Note by Secretariat, available at the website: http://www.unep.or.jp/Ietc/SPC/news-nov10/3_FrameworkOfGPWM.pdf
3 Chalmin P. and Gaillochet C. (2009). From waste to resource, An abstract of world waste survey, Cyclope, Veolia Environmental Services, Edition Economica, France.
4 UNDESA. Shanghai Manual: A Guide for Sustainable Urban Development in the 21st Century, 2012. pp. 36.
5 LEI. 12.305, DE 2 DE AGOSTO DE 2010. Política Nacional de Resíduos Sólidos Available at http://www. planalto. gov. br/ccivil_03/_ato200, p. 7-2010, 2010.
6 HAWKS, Karen. What is reverse logistics? Reverse Logistics Magazine, 2006.
7 IPEA - INSTITUTO DE PESQUISAS APLICADAS. Pesquisa sobre pagamento por serviços ambientais urbanos para gestão de resíduos sólidos. Brasília, 2010.
8 CONSELHO FEDERAL DE CONTABILIDADE-CFC. NBC T 15-Informações de Natureza Social e Ambiental–CFC, Brasília, 2004. 2010.
Francisco Luiz Biazini Filho - Doctor in Social Responsibility in Nuclear Energy by the Institute of Energy and Nuclear Research (IPEN), specialist (MBA) in Information Security and holds a degree in Technology in Data Processing.
Boanesio Cardoso Ribeiro - Civil Engineer graduated from the Engineering Faculty of São José dos Campos (1985). Has a post-graduate degree in Pollution Control Engineering by FAAP. CEO of the company Urbam - Urbanizadora Municipal S.A., located in São Jose dos Campos, Brazil.
Ricardo F Oliani - In recent years I have been working directly with the theme of technological innovation for sustainability, reverse logistics and indicators for smartcities. I am a lecturer in Environmental Marketing, ISO 26000, Solid Waste Management and Content Marketing. I am founder and current director of Abraps - Brazilian Association of Sustainability Professionals; NGO Advisor - Together with you, who works with crowdfunding for social and environmental impact projects; Instituto Baraeté, who works in the socio-environmental training and Casa 7 Memórias e Aprendizagens, which works on the evaluation and systematization of social projects. I have a portal focused on the dissemination of actions for preservation and conservation environment, Environmental Market since 2001 I maintain a joint venture with startups in the area of application development for the creation of games and applications with socio-environmental content.
Isac Wajc - Graduation in Electrical Engineering Electronic Modality by University Presbyterian Mackenzie. Specialization in Business Administration from University Presbyterian Mackenzie. Course of Management and Execution of Projects of Innovation in Companies - USP / São Carlos. Elaboration and Coordination of Research, Development and Innovation projects (FAPESP, FINEP, CNPq, SEBRAE). Lines of Development Lectures. Partner - Owner of the company REDERESÍDUO: Management and Commercialization of Solid Waste and Recycling.
Rachel Ann Hauser-Davis - Holds a bachelor and licentiate degree in Biological Sciences by the Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro, a Master’s degree in Analytical Chemistry and a Doctorate degree in Sciences – Analytical Chemistry, both by the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro.