By Özge Tasar
The TUMI Project ‘’Re-ciclo’’ which introduces electric and manual tricycles (cargo-bikes) to solid waste collectors in Fortaleza has held a series of three workshops to support waste collectors appropriate and use the tricycles for their work.
In Brazil, a large part of the recyclable waste collection is done by people who walk the streets of the city collecting solid waste known as waste pickers or ‘’catadores’’ in Portuguese. The catadores transport waste in carts that are pushed along the roads, however, this can cause serious health problems and is very slow.
Exchanging hand-pulled carts by tricycles can bring health benefits, social inclusion, and an increase in income for waste pickers as the cargo transport capacity is bigger, as well as the distances that catadores can do on a day is increased. Driving a tricycle requires practice and adaptation, especially when it is loaded. Therefore, this series of workshops important for catadores to the adoption of their body to the vehicle.
Catadores overcome their fears!
The first training workshop was given by Enio Paipa, who has already conducted similar workshops in other cities in Brazil. A group of 9 waste collectors, of whom 8 were women, have participated in the first training. The elderly participants, Maria de Fátima Santos da Silva, 73 years old, Maria Silvania Silva de Lemos, 60 years old, and Maria da Conceição Silva Santos, 54 years old, were the most insecure at the beginning of the workshop. Maria de Fátima, who has been working for collecting solid waste for over 16 years, expressed her fears: “The last time I got on a bicycle was 43 years ago. I’m afraid!”
After a few hours of riding on the tricycle, Maria de Fátima felt safer. “I understood that I can cycle. I just need to train a little more,” she said at the end of the workshop. Conceição and Silvania agreed that practicing riding the tricycle helped ease their fears.
After a conversation in which concepts of road safety and the tricycle operation were explained, the facilitator walked beside each of the catadores while they were riding the tricycle. By the end of the training, five participants said they felt safe after participating in the three workshops and all of them stressed the importance of carrying out the activity.
The training took place at the center of one of the catadores’ associations “ARAN”, in Bom Sucesso, a very marginalized neighborhood on the outskirts of Fortaleza, 15 kilometers away from the city center, which has a population of 42 thousand people and an HDI of 0.262132976.
The project ‘’Re-ciclo’’ is one of the winners of the Global Urban Mobility Challenge 2019, organized by TUMI (Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative) and supported by the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF).
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 means of transport. It has the three objectives:
1. Social inclusion end economic empowerment of catadores
2. Increased recycling in the municipality
3. Introduce tricycles as a sustainable option for urban logistics and mobility.
If you want to know more about the project: