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PROJECT PROPOSAL

Integrated Knowledge Modules for Catadores1 of Recyclable


Materials Sector: an environmentally sustainable proposal for
social inclusion in a Knowledge Economy perspective

WORKING PLAN

1. PROJECT SHEET

Project’s Name Integrated Knowledge Modules for Catadores of


Recyclable Materials Sector: an environmentally
sustainable proposal for social inclusion in Knowledge
Economy perspective.
Execution’s Agency GERI – Grupo de Estudos de Relações Intersetoriais
Faculdade de Ciências Econômicas - FCE –
UNIVERSIDADE FEDERAL DA BAHIA – UFBA
General Coordinator Prof. João Damásio de Oliveira Filho, Ph.D.
Supporting Institutions MDE - Ministério do Desenvolvimento Social e Combate
à Fome; PETROBRÁS – Petróleo Brasileiro S. A.;
PANGEA – Centro de Estudos Sócio-Ambientais –
Centro Nacional de Referência dos Catadores de
Materiais Recicláveis; CATABAHIA – Rede de
Cooperativas de Catadores do Estado da Bahia.
Execution Time 24 months
IDB Financing US$ 1,000,000.00
Local Non-Financial PANGEA and REDE CATA BAHIA
Counterpart US$ 500.000,00

Draft 1.29 – Please do not quote


Augu
st 2008

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In Brazil, people involved in these activities greatly dislike being called “catadores de lixo”. It is
considered VERY OFFENSIVE by catadores themselves, especially among those organized in
cooperatives or associations. They argue that they are not "garbage collectors": they do know how to
select the recyclables! They would rather call themselves “catadores de materiais recicláveis”, literally
meaning “recyclable materials pickers”. On the other hand, the current English term for catadores,
scavengers, seems even more offensive, as it is a term adopted in Biology to designate some rapine birds
and mammals that feed on decomposing organic materials. In this Working Plan it has been chosen the
simple term "catadores”.
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2. IDENTIFICATION OF THE PROBLEM

 Nowadays the recycling of solid urban waste is presented as a short-run formula to


mitigate the growing problems generated by the consumption standards of the
societies in which we live.
 This solution presents a set of characteristics, all of them individually
considerable: natural resources economies; reduction or minimization of
environmentally negative impacts; reduction of public costs for the collection and
treatment of these materials; job and income creation; positive impacts on the
economy, along the recycling chains, among others.
 The presence of catadores of recyclable materials is a visible
phenomenon in the great majority of the Latin American and
Caribbean metropolis and big cities. It is a social segment
immersed in a critical poverty condition, working in streets and
garbage dumps, and selling its materials in economically subdued
conditions.
 There are about 800,000 catadores in Brazil, occupied in the
streets and garbage dumps, and only around 12% of this number are organized in
353 cooperatives, associations, or other groupings throughout the
country.
 This sector is articulated to the productive chain dynamic industrial
branches – through the recycling of materials – generating wealth,
resources conservation, and environmental sustainability. However,
their participation in the resulting wealth is less visible.
 In other words, almost a million catadores live in conditions of extreme poverty --
nevertheless surviving -- and feed what is becoming one of the most dynamic
industries in the country, the recycling industry.
 Some of these groups, nevertheless, already hold considerable levels of acquired
knowledge – organization styles, logistics and
commercialization – which potentially qualify them as
empirical subjects of Knowledge Economy investigations.
 This Project deals with the systematization of the acquired knowledge – put
alongside with a collection of new knowledge -- as to generate technical
references, blueprints, basic organizational procedures and logistic information.
This will lead to the development of Integrated Knowledge Modules – IKM --
which could be diffused and replicated – within the perspective of building
concepts grounded in Knowledge Economy.
 It is apparent the need for gathering the
catadores organizations’ acquired knowledge
levels aiming at the formulation of public
policies on an emblematic sector -- from the
viewpoint of enhancing social inclusion on an
environmentally sustainable society.
 The Brazilian ‘Ministério do Desenvolvimento
Social e Combate à Fome’ - MDS2 supports the

2
One of the Supporting Institutions of this present Project. Please refer to the original Supporting Letter,
attached to the end of this Working Plan. There, it can be read: ‘The […] Project will allow the
articulation between popular and scientific knowledge on the recycling sector, that will advance the
economic and social inclusion of Catadores of Recyclable Materials’ - Our emphasis and version, JD.
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proposal for building a first pillar of knowledge on the recycling chains and sub-
chains due to the social and economic dimension of this problem in Brazil.
 This Project’s Working Plan starts with the development of deeper and broader
studies on Knowledge Economy, applied to the questions of catadores of
recyclable materials.
 This is indispensable in order to lay analytical grounds to embrace the several
additional dimensions of the knowledge problems related to the productive chains
and sub-chains of the recycling process, which are critical to its efficiencies.
 Besides, it should help in the identification of
potential acquired knowledge transfers and
diffusion – and in the addition of new
knowledge -- to develop sustainable business
opportunities for the catadores, together with
partnerships form the private sector companies,
civil society institutions and public entities.
 Furthermore, it is desirable the structuring of a
knowledge level which articulates academic
research and practical experiences in order to
systematize replicable knowledge modules in
different territorial contexts3.
 The present Project has a strategic character that enables it to be submitted for
approval to the IDB’s Knowledge Economic Program – displaying a high
potential for economic, social and environmental impacts on the segment of
catadores of recyclables materials in Brazil and other Latin American and
Caribbean countries.

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“[…] sustained use and creation of Knowledge are at the center of the economic development process”.
IDB-Knowledge Economy Program-Special Program Pre-Proposal-Draft- May, 2008– item 1.1 - p.1.
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3. OBJECTIVES

3.1 GENERAL

The goal of this proposal is the systematization and articulation of acquired knowledge
– already held by the most advanced catadores’ cooperatives of recyclable materials –
put alongside with a collection of new knowledge on actions and processes -- as to
generate technical references, blueprints, basic organizational procedures and logistic
information. This will lead to the construction of Integrated Knowledge Modules4–
IKM -- with gains in scale and added value, which could be diffused and replicated –
within the perspective of building concepts grounded in Knowledge Economy.

3.2 SPECIFIC

 I) To identify the levels of cumulative acquired knowledge by the catadores of


recyclable materials in collecting; transporting; selecting; power pressing; and
selling of urban residuals – departing from the most advanced cooperatives
within the CATABAHIA network5.
 II) To identify new knowledge, in the form of new organizational techniques
and new logistic and production procedures, that makes feasible additional value
aggregation: the materials’ in loco industrial transformation; energy generation
through biodigestion; and the collection of used cooking oil for recycling as
biofuels.
 III) To evaluate physical, economic and market efficiencies for the
systematization of Trading Networks selling of recyclable materials to the
recycling industries.
 IV) Knowledge blueprints collection and building of Integrated Knowledge
Modules (IKM), departing from Basic Modules for Production, Distribution
and Trading, with the goal of allowing its diffusion and replication throughout
Brazil and by the countries of LAC Region.
 V) To gradually incorporate CATABAHIA units to the logics of the Clean
Development Mechanisms – CDM – as a Pilot Project.
 VI) To offer training and technical assistance for catadores of recyclable
materials – as a means of knowledge diffusion -- seeking professional
qualifying and contributing to the generation of new jobs.
 VII) To develop and assess indicators for development sustainability from the
Knowledge Economy viewpoint: local economic effects; macroeconomic
impacts; environmental effects; social effects; and diffusion effects through
appropriation and knowledge reproduction.
 VIII) Interchange promotion; partial results presentations; and Final Report
writing.

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IKM - Integrated Knowledge Modules
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CATABAHIA network is constituted by an inter-town organization of nine catadores’ cooperatives from
Bahia. Its objectives is the introduction of a specific organizing body for acting on the collection and
trading of residuals, generating new jobs and defining more efficient strategies for market insertion. The
net focuses its actions on projects that will boost competitiveness conditions for the cooperatives of
catadores. This Project will avail the opportunities to extend the analyses to the CATASAMPA Trading
Network cooperatives.
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4. PROJECTS’ COMPONENTS AND SCHEDULE6

This Project includes the following Components, articulated as to guarantee the


adequate pace of its execution:

I) ACQUIRED KNOWLEDGE PROFILES – AKP

II) AGGREGATION OF NEW KNOWLEDGE PROFILES – NKP

III) RELATIVE EFFICIENCIES AND TRADING NETWORKS

IV) INTEGRATED KNOWLEDGE MODULES – IKM

V) CLEAN DEVELOPMENT MECHANISMS – CDM – PILOT

VI) CATADORES’ TRAINING AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCY

VII) KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY INDICATORS

VIII) RESULTS PRESENTATIONS AND FINAL REPORT

EXECUTION SCHEDULE OF THE COMPONENTS

COMPONENT
Monthly Periods
Activity 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
I X X X X X X X X
II X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
III X X X X X X
IV X X X X X X X X X X
V X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
VI X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
VII X X X X X X X X X X
VIII X X X X X X X X X

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Each one of the following Components corresponds to one of the above described Specific Objectives.
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5. COMPONENTS’ DESCRIPTIONS: PROJECT ACTIVITIES, PERFORMANCE


INDICATORS7 AND EXECUTION SCHEDULES

COMPONENT I: ACQUIRED KNOWLEDGE PROFILES – AKP – (8 MONTHS)

 This Component will identify the levels of cumulative acquired knowledge of the
catadores of recyclable materials in collecting; transporting; selecting; power
pressing; and selling urban residuals – departing from the most advanced
cooperatives within the CATABAHIA network.
 It aims to characterize and systematize the several different levels of acquired
knowledge in respect to techniques and processes, as to generate descriptive
comparative profiles which could establish grounds for the building of Knowledge
Economy indicators framework.
 It will be defined a sample of the catadores’ organized units of CATABAHIA,
where the data collection instruments will be applied, in fieldwork.
 The resulting product of this Component will be an organized set of cumulative
Acquired Knowledge Profiles (AKP), based on already existing knowledge of
the CATABAHIA network units.

The planned Activities for this Component are:

1.1. Definition of a sample for direct data collection – CATABAHIA


network (2 months).
1.2. Development of the data collection instruments and pilot application (2
months).
1.3. Application of the data collection instruments to CATABAHIA network
units (5 months).
1.4. Tabulation and data systematizing (4 months).
1.5. Critical analyses and results evaluations (2 months).
1.6. Building of the cumulative Acquired Knowledge Profiles (AKP) in the
CATABAHIA network units (2 months)

PRODUCT COMPONENT I: Acquired Knowledge Profiles (AKP) in


the CATABAHIA network units.

Component’s Schedule
Monthly Periods
ACQUIRED KNOWLEDGE
PROFILES – AKP
Activity 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1.1 X X
1.2 X X
1.3 X X X X X
1.4 X X X X
1.5 X X

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The Product Component, and the effective carrying out of each Activity, are Performance Indicators of
the Project’s execution.
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1.6 X X
COMPONENT II: AGGREGATION OF NEW KNOWLEDGE PROFILES –
NKP (18 MONTHS)

 This Component will identify new knowledge, in the form of new organizational
techniques and new logistic and production procedures, which make feasible
additional value aggregation: the materials’ in loco industrial transformation;
energy generation through biodigestion; and the collection of used cooking oil for
recycling as biofuels.
 The objective is to map processes and techniques that will potentially contribute –
as new knowledge – to increase the added value of the activities of recyclable
materials’ catadores.
 The embodiment of this new knowledge will be a catalytic element to boost their
income, strengthening accumulation and making feasible the auto-sustainability of
the catadores’ units.8
 An industrial transformation opportunity mapping will be developed – through the
insertion of end-activities along the productive chains and sub-chains – as a mean
to enable the catadores to locally add further value, instead of selling their raw
gross product.
 This new knowledge -- on the insertion of steps of the industrial transformation to
the internally operating logic of catadores’ units – locally verticalizes the activity,
adds value to the recyclable materials, and contributes to by-pass the
intermediaries when selling their products.
 The Product resulting from this Component will be a set of New Knowledge
Profiles (NKP) which could be adopted by catadores’ organizations according to
their conveniences.

The planned Activities for this Component are:

2.1. Identifying new knowledge, in the form of new organizational


techniques and new processes (7 months).
2.2. Proposition of more efficient logistics (5 months).
2.3. In loco industrial transformation opportunity mapping on the
Petrochemical productive chains (5 months).
2.4. In loco industrial transformation opportunity mapping on the Paper &
Cardboard productive chains (5 months).
2.5. In loco industrial transformation opportunity mapping on the Metallic
Materials productive chains (5 months).
2.6. In loco industrial transformation opportunity mapping on the productive
chains of Other Materials (4 months)
2.7. Operational deployment of collection, filtering and processing of used
cooking oil for biofuels production (18 months)
2.8. Operational deployment of a biodigestor for the organic fraction of
urban solid residuals (18 months)
2.9. Building of New Knowledge Profiles (NKP) for allocations on
catadores’ units (3 months)

8
In this sense, it contributes to the density increase of the catadores’ units knowledge sector (K-sector).
8

PRODUCT COMPONENT II: New Knowledge Profiles (NKP)


potentially allocated to CATABAHIA network’s units.

Component’s Schedule

AGGREGATION OF NEW Monthly Periods


KNOWLEDGE PROFILES –
NKP
Activity 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
2.1 X X X X X X X
2.2 X X X X X
2.3 X X X X X
2.4 X X X X X
2.5 X X X X X
2.6 X X X X
2.7 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
2.8 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
2.9 X X X
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COMPONENT III: RELATIVE EFFICIENCIES AND TRADING NETWORKS


(6 MONTHS)

 This Component deals with evaluating the relative efficiencies – physical,


economic and market – for a new knowledge systematizing: Trading Networks
for recyclable materials from catadores’ organizations to the recycling industries.
 It is apparent that the existence or absence of capitals and equipment will directly
contribute to the higher or lower activity’s productivity. However, the relative
efficiencies with which the different units operate their knowledge are a decisive
factor for the activity’s dynamics.
 On the other hand, the inexistence of adequate volume and scale – besides de
impossibility of forming inventories – undervalues the activity’s returns.
 The creation of Trading Networks – for collectively selling recyclable materials
– puts together adequate volumes of different materials, for directly supplying the
recycling industries.
 The evaluation of the relative efficiencies will be made possible from the results
obtained from the above direct inquest from Component I.
 The deployment of a Trading Network – a new knowledge – will be made
feasible from the market analysis of the demand by recyclable products.
 The resulting product of this Component will be a set of Knowledge Operational
Efficiencies Profiles (KEP) which will be used as criteria to support indexes
development, in a Knowledge Economy perspective.

The planned Activities for this Component are:

3.1. Evaluation of the physical efficiencies in catadores’ units (2 months).


3.2. Evaluation of the economic efficiencies in catadores’ units (2 months).
3.3. Evaluation of the market efficiencies in catadores’ units (2 months).
3.4. Evaluation of catadores’ Trading Networks operating in Brazil (3
months).
3.5. Deployment in the State of Bahia of a Trading Network for collectively
selling materials to the recycling industries (2 months).
3.6. Construction of the Knowledge Operational Efficiencies Profiles
(KEP), in a Knowledge Economy perspective (2 months).

PRODUCT COMPONENT III: Knowledge Operational Efficiencies


Profiles (KEP) for the CATABAHIA Network units.

Component’s Schedule
Monthly Periods
RELATIVE EFFICIENCIES AND
TRADING NETWORKS
Activity 9 10 11 12 13 14
3.1 X X
3.2 X X
3.3 X X
3.4 X X X
3.5 X X
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3.6 X X
COMPONENT IV: INTEGRATED KNOWLEDGE MODULES – IKM
(10 MONTHS)

 This Component has as a goal the systematizing of knowledge blueprints and the
composition and construction of the Integrated Knowledge Modules (IKM),
departing from Basic Modules for Production, Distribution and
Commercialization.
 The conception of the material resources for the Integrated Knowledge Modules
(IKM) is also attached to the models of “Basic Modules” 9 that are presently the
BNDES10 reference for their investment support program for catadores’ units in
Brazil.
 The Acquired Knowledge Profiles (AKP), the New Knowledge Profiles (NKP),
and the Knowledge Operational Efficiencies Profiles (KEP) are the results of
this Components I, II and III respectively. Their incorporation to the Integrated
Knowledge Modules (IKM) is performed in line to the need of valorizing
knowledge – in the KE perspective.
 On the other hand, the knowledge blueprints specify the description of the
methods, techniques and processes already deployed – or about to be deployed – in
catadores’ units across Brazil.
 The integration of the knowledge blueprints to the Integrated Knowledge
Modules (IKM) pursues its diffusion and replication throughout Brazil and the
LAC Region’s countries.
 The resulting Products of this Component will be the Integrated Knowledge
Modules (IKM) – including the set of systematized blueprints – and constitute the
transferable knowledge core for the benefit of other catadores’ units.

The planned Activities for this Component are:

4.1. Discussion and formulation of Basic Modules for Production,


Distribution and Commercialization, as a framework for building the
Integrated Knowledge Modules (IKM) (4 months).
4.2. Merging of the Acquired Knowledge Profiles (AKP) and the New
Knowledge Profiles (NKP) to the Integrated Knowledge Modules (IKM)
(4 months).
4.3. Merging of the Knowledge Operational Efficiencies Profiles (KEP) to
the Integrated Knowledge Modules (IKM) (4 months).
4.4. Collection of blueprints of knowledge sets to be incorporated to the
Integrated Knowledge Modules (IKM) (9 months).
4.5. Writing of a Report describing the Integrated Knowledge Modules
(IKM) together with the knowledge blueprints (3 months).

PRODUCT COMPONENT IV: Report describing the Integrated


Knowledge Modules (IKM) together with the knowledge blueprints for
diffusion and replication in Brazil and LAC Region countries.

9
Cf. Damásio, J. “Análise do Custo de Geração de Postos de Trabalho na Economia Urbana para o
Segmento dos Catadores de Materiais Recicláveis” – 2006.
10
BNDES – Banco Nacional do Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social – National Bank for the Social and
Economic Development
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Component’s Schedule
Monthly Periods
INTEGRATED KNOWLEDGE
MODULES – IKM
Activity 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22
4.1 X X X X
4.2 X X X X
4.3 X X X X
4.4 X X X X X X X X X
4.5 X X X
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COMPONENT V: CLEAN DEVELOPMENT MECHANISMS – CDM – PILOT


(16 MONTHS)

 This Component has the goal of gradually incorporate CATABAHIA cooperate


units to the logics of the Clean Development Mechanisms – CDM – as a Pilot
Project.
 The effective certification of catadores’ cooperatives as CDM integrated plants
will bring an additional step of knowledge to these units – SK5 -- that will
aggregate values, in the direction of sustainable development.
 The process will begin with the diagnosis of the stages and procedures of already
established CDM practices. This task will allow envisaging the methodological
steps to be adopted for its functionality within the Integrated Knowledge
Modules (IKM) generated in Component IV.
 The feasibility and adequacy of the CDM will be empirically tested in a Pilot-
Project to be established on a CATABAHIA network unit.
 The resulting Products of this Component will be a Report where it will be
described the resulting methodology, developed for the incorporation of CDM
procedures to the Integrated Knowledge Modules (IKM).

The planned Activities for this Component are:

5.1. Survey and diagnosis of the stages and procedures of already established
CDM practices (4 months).
5.2. Definition of the methodological steps to be adopted for functionality of
CDM practices within the Integrated Knowledge Modules (IKM) (4
months).
5.3. Empirical application of the developed CDM methodology on a
CATABAHIA network’s unit (10 months).

PRODUCT COMPONENT V: Report describing the resulting methodology,


developed for the incorporation of CDM procedures to the Integrated Knowledge
Modules (IKM), along with a critical analysis of the Pilot-Projects achievements.

Component’s Schedule

CLEAN DEVELOPMENT Monthly Periods


MECHANISMS – CDM -
PILOT
Activity 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22
5.1 X X X X
5.2 X X X X
5.3 X X X X X X X X X X
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COMPONENT VI: CATADORES’ TRAINING AND TECHNICAL


ASSISTANCE (16 MONTHS)

 This Component has the purpose of offering training and technical assistance for
catadores of recyclable materials – as a means of knowledge diffusion -- seeking
professional qualifying and contributing to the generation of new jobs11.
 .The technical assistance to catadores contributes with knowledge diffusion in its
different levels. Also allows that new knowledge could be learned and
implemented in their units. Their interchange with instructors, by its way, also is an
important familiarization tool with catadores’ cumulative acquired knowledge..
 There will be two, thirty-hours each, modules, dealing with management and
professional basic abilities. Those modules will be set in two different journeys:
the first-year one will deal primarily with the diffusion of acquired knowledge12;
the second-year one will be centered in the introduction of new knowledge and
techniques.
 The contents programming and the planning of practical and theoretical classes
will be defined in participatory sessions with pedagogical orientation..
 The results of this Component will be trained catadores -- with a higher
knowledge level – an immaterial value that will be described in a Report with the
achievements reached in the journeys on existing acquired knowledge and new
knowledge.

The planned Activities for this Component are:

6.1. Definition of the journeys’ contents – already existing acquired


knowledge (2 months).
6.2. Development of practical and theoretical lessons plans – already
existing acquired knowledge (2 months).
6.3. Applied class and workroom sessions on basic abilities – already
existing acquired knowledge (2 months).
6.4. Applied class and workroom sessions on professional abilities – already
existing acquired knowledge (2 months).
6.5. Applied class and workroom sessions on management abilities – already
existing acquired knowledge (2 months).
6.6. Definition of the journeys’ contents – new knowledge and techniques (2
months)
6.7. Development of practical and theoretical lessons plans – new
knowledge and techniques (2 months)
6.8. Applied class and workroom sessions on basic abilities – new
knowledge and techniques (2 months).
6.9. Applied class and workroom sessions on professional abilities – new
knowledge and techniques (2 months).
6.10. Applied class and workroom sessions on management abilities – new
knowledge and techniques (2 months)
6.11. Participatory sessions for the critical evaluation of results (4 months)
11
“Human capital (competencies) is a key component of value in a knowledge-based organization” –
op.cit. Item 2.2f.
12
That already exists in the most advanced catadores’ units.
14

PRODUCT COMPONENT VI: Report with the achievements reached in


the journeys on existing acquired knowledge and new knowledge.

Component’s
Schedule

CATADORES’ Monthly Periods


TRAINING AND
TECHNICAL
ASSISTANCY
Activity 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 - 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22
6.1 X X -
6.2 X X -
6.3 X X -
6.4 X X -
6.5 X X -
6.6 - X X
6.7 - X X
6.8 - X X
6.9 - X X
6.10 - X X
6.11 X X - X X
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COMPONENT VII: KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY INDICATORS (10 MONTHS)

 This Component has as objectives to construct and assess indicators for


development sustainability from the Knowledge Economy viewpoint: local
economic effects; macroeconomic impacts; environmental effects; social effects;
and diffusion effects through appropriation and knowledge reproduction13.
 The difficulties involved are known, when proposing consensual and unambiguous
indicators, within the Knowledge Economy perspectives. However, the extent and
detailed level – that are aimed at in this Research Project – are such as to make
possible the assessment to comparative steps of knowledge. These comparisons
will potentially allow for indicators ranking and checking.
 For example, an improvement in the logistics for collection of raw recyclable
material, along with the centralization of the processing stages will bring about a
considerable increase to the physical and economic productivities: these values are
the result of applied knowledge and are also measurable!
 Likewise, other empirical knowledge applications – be them acquired or else
new – give rise to distinct situations, comparable, and therefore measurable.
 Thus proceeding, it is sought to establish assessment routines that – by direct
comparison – will enable measurement, and make it possible to establish links
between objective values to the use of applied knowledge. In conventional works
these linked relations are not only non-explicit, but are commonly altogether
ignored.
 It will be explored the viability to introduce knowledge indicators in several
fronts: sustainability; local economic effects; macroeconomic impacts;
environmental effects; social effects; and diffusion effects through appropriation
and knowledge reproduction.
 Each indicator’s robustness will be assessed and submitted to critical evaluation,
before its methodology is formalized.
 The result of this Component will be a set of indicators conceived from the
Knowledge Economy viewpoint

The planned Activities for this Component are:

7.1. Discussion and introduction of indicators for development sustainability


from the Knowledge Economy viewpoint (3 months).
7.2. Assessment of local economic effects indicators from the Knowledge
Economy viewpoint (3 months).
7.3. Assessment of macroeconomic effects indicators from the Knowledge
Economy viewpoint (3 months).
7.4. Assessment of environmental effects indicators from the Knowledge
Economy viewpoint (5 months).
7.5. Assessment of social effects indicators from the Knowledge Economy
viewpoint (3 months).

13
The Project will make efforts to contribute with the development of k-specific indicators as proposed
in IDB-Knowledge Economy Program-Special Program Pre-Proposal-Draft - May, 2008 – p.10 2.14
16

7.6. Assessment of indicators for diffusion effects through appropriation and


knowledge reproduction (10 months)

PRODUCT COMPONENT VII: Methodology and set of indicators for development


sustainability from the Knowledge Economy viewpoint: local economic effects;
macroeconomic impacts; environmental effects; social effects; and diffusion effects
through appropriation and knowledge reproduction.

Component’s Schedule
Monthly Periods
KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY
INDICATORS
Activity 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22
7.1 X X X
7.2 X X X
7.3 X X X
7.4 X X X X X
7.5 X X X
7.6 X X X X X X X X X X
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COMPONENT VIII: RESULTS PRESENTATIONS AND FINAL REPORT


(9 MONTHS)

 This Component deals with the aspects of communications and presentation of the
partial and final results of this research. The plan includes interchange mechanisms
and gradual disclosure of the different products at the various stages of work.
 In particular, two Workshops are scheduled: the first at the end of the first work
year; and the second by the end of the whole work. In the latest it will be disclosed
the last version of the Final Report.
 The result of this Component will be a Final Report, which will collect all of the
intermediate products of this research work.

The planned Activities for this Component are:

8.1. Planning and Design of the communication tools for Project’s results
disclosure (3 months).
8.2. Planning and Presentation: Workshop I – Preliminary Results (2
months).
8.3. Planning and Presentation: Workshop II – Final Results (2 months).
8.4. Writing and Disclosure of the Final Report (4 months).

PRODUCT COMPONENT VIII: Final Report

Component’s Schedule
Monthly Periods
RESULTS PRESENTATIONS
AND FINAL REPORT
Activity 1 2 3 - 11 12 - 21 22 23 24
8.1 X X X - -
8.2 - X X -
8.3 - - X X
8.4 - - X X X X
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6. LOGICAL INTEGRATION OF THE COMPONENTS

I II

III IV

VI VII

VIII

LEGEND

I - ACQUIRED KNOWLEDGE PROFILES – AKP


II - AGGREGATION OF NEW KNOWLEDGE PROFILES – NKP
III - RELATIVE EFFICIENCIES AND TRADING NETWORKS
IV - INTEGRATED KNOWLEDGE MODULES – IKM
V - CLEAN DEVELOPMENT MECHANISMS – CDM - PILOT
VI - CATADORES’ TRAINING AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCY
VII - KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY INDICATORS
VIII - RESULTS PRESENTATIONS AND FINAL REPORT
19

7. RESEARCH BACKGROUD

ON THE FINANCING FOR CAPITALIZATION ON EQUIPMENT, FACILITIES, TOOLS AND PROCESSES

 For improved economic efficiency and a better use of the available resources of
recyclable materials – a set of previous information is required, on the behavior of
total production vis-à-vis the increasing amounts of recyclables, per type of
materials -- along with a more detailed characterization of the actors involved in
the process.
 Without that information it becomes impossible to know the adequate and efficient
operational scales. How can one assemble a catadores’ organization before these
uncertainties?
 Some very important and basic questions arise, and merit an answer: What is the
optimal size of a plant for processing recyclable materials? What is the optimal
number of power presses and other equipment adequate for this plant? What is the
optimal number of associated catadores that can be occupied in this plant? What are
the adequate flows of production processing that allows for the optimization of the
plant, transforming recyclable materials in money in the shortest timestamp
possible? What is the optimal capital/labor relation in a catadores plant, compatible
with the highest efficiency levels? How can one measure the levels of physical,
economic and market efficiencies for a catadores plant of recyclable materials?
 The above mentioned questions were the object of study of GERI14 (Grupo de
Estudos de Relações Intersetoriais) of UFBa (Universidade Federal da Bahia) –
under the coordination of Prof. João Damásio -- and has involved the articulation of
academic and scientific knowledge with the experiences of catadores’ associations
and cooperatives in 22 Federal States in all of the Brazilian Regions.
 That study was done in partnership with the “Centro de Referência de Catadores de
Materiais Recicláveis”, linked to the NGO Pangea (Salvador-Bahia), and supported
and financed by the Brazilian Ministério do Desenvolvimento Social e Combate à
Fome - MDS15.
 The answers given to the above questions led to a safe direction: the proposition of
a basic-unit module for cooperatives of catadores – albeit adaptable to different and
specific local, cultural and regional characteristics – would serve as a reference
parametrical standard, when considered the requisites for higher productivities and
efficiencies.
 The basic-unit module looked for creating the primary conditions for rupturing the
vicious circle of existing inefficiencies in recyclable materials processing16.

14
The Research Group GERI was created in 1983 and is registered since 1985 as a consolidated research
group by CNPq – Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico. It belongs to the
Faculdade de Ciências Econômicas (Economics Department) of the Federal University of Bahia - Salvador –
Brazil.
15
“Análise do Custo de Geração de Postos de Trabalho na Economia Urbana para o Segmento dos Catadores
de Materiais Recicláveis” authored by Prof. João Damásio for PANGEA/ Ministério do Desenvolvimento
Social e Combate à Fome in 2006. This study is about to be published with a preface of Minister Patrus
Ananias, from the MDS.
16
Please refer to op.cit. pp. 87-112.
20

 On the basis of those basic modules, it was then proposed a total investment of
some R$ 169 millions17 in order to equip 244 cooperatives and associations of
catadores in 22 Brazilian Federal States.
 The referred study, performed in 2005-6, has proposed some blueprints and
guidelines -- putting together the theoretical
grounds -- for the Brazilian Government’s
initiative, through the Social and Economic
Development Bank -BNDES - in launching a broad
investment program on physical capital for the
Brazilian catadores’ cooperatives.
 For the first time in its history, the Bank has issued
a funding program for applications from catadores organizations, aiming at
financially supporting their capitalization on equipment and laboring tools.
 On its site (http://www.bndes.gov.br/linhas/catadores.asp), it can be assessed the
results of the social fund “Apoio a Projetos de Catadores de Materiais
Recicláveis”18, from where it is textually translated:

 “BNDES’ participation on Federal actions aimed at this segment has begun in 2007,
with the publishing of the ‘I Ciclo de Apoio a Projetos de Estruturação Produtiva de
Cooperativas’19, in the context of the program ‘Apoio a Projetos de Catadores de
Materiais Recicláveis’. There were 127 project submissions, from which 67 were
considered eligible as fitting the framework. Among these, 44 projects were
fitted, from which 34 have been approved, for a total value of R$ 23 millions 20.
It is estimated that these operations will lead to an increase of about 2,300
workplaces at these cooperatives and of 45% up in cooperates' average
income”21.
 “The support from BNDES to this segment was structured on the basis laid by the
study ‘Análise do Custo de Geração de Postos de
Trabalho na Economia Urbana para o Segmento dos
Catadores de Materiais Recicláveis’22 in which it was
typified the cooperatives and associations of catadores
and advanced propositions on a basic unit of investments
for each of the types, according to its stage of
development, aiming to the creation of new work posts and an increase in the
segment efficiencies”.23

 These were last years’, 2007, numbers. This year the process is open for proposal
submissions again, for a potential concession of similar values. It is worth noting
that this is not lent money: it is social investment taken out of the Bank’s own profits.

17
About US$ 105 millions at current exchange rates.
18
Literally “Support to Projects from Catadores of Recyclable Materials” – our version, JD
19
Literally “First Cycle of Support to Projects of Productive Structuring for Cooperatives”
20
About US$ 14,375,000.00 at current exchange rates.
21
Our Emphasis, JD
22
Damásio, João (2006) – op. cit
23
Our Version, JD – Please find original screen capture in Portuguese in the next page.
21
22

FOR A KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY APPLIED TO PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES: THE STEPS OF


24
KNOWLEDGE

 Qualitatively – from the standpoint of acquired knowledge -- it is possible to


segment the catadores’ organizations in Brazil in three big sets, with decreasing
degrees of knowledge, structural and productive organization; besides a fourth set
composed by as yet non-organized groups of catadores.
 Let us call these sets “Steps of Knowledge”, numbered from 1 to 4, in decreasing
degrees of knowledge.

SK1 - STEP OF KNOWLEDGE 1: HIGH LEVEL OF ACQUIRED KNOWLEDGE.

Groups formally organized in associations or


cooperatives with power press; scale; pushcarts;
and their own sheds. They display the ability to
amplify their physical structures and equipment
endowments in order to absorb new catadores.
They hold an appreciably high level of
acquired knowledge, with possibilities of
diffusion. At this Step of Knowledge, they also
display some necessary conditions to eventually
introduce basic units of industrial plants for in
loco recycling. In this Situation, the cooperatives are already mature and ready for the
verticalization of the production of recyclables materials. The cooperatives in this situation
– leaders on acquired knowledge -- must be seen as important vectors of knowledge
diffusion.

24
For what follows, statistical figures and the conceptual framework should be referred to the same study. Cf.
op.cit.
23

SK2 - STEP OF KNOWLEDGE 2: MEDIUM LEVEL OF ACQUIRED KNOWLEDGE.

Groups formally organized in associations or cooperatives possessing some equipment, but


in need of financial support for the acquisition
of additional equipment and/or for the
building of sheds. They hold some acquired
knowledge, and would be the immediate
beneficiaries of knowledge diffusion from
SK1. At this Step of Knowledge, the
cooperatives are in an intermediate phase –
they lack some infra-structure and knowledge
support aiming at expanding production – and
are in need of infrastructure and training
strengthening in order to be able to increase
the collection/selection process and therefore be strong enough to include new catadores of
recyclable materials.
24

SK3 - STEP OF KNOWLEDGE 3: LOW LEVEL OF ACQUIRED KNOWLEDGE.

Groups with some loose organization, with very few types of equipment – some owned by
them – in need of financial support to acquire
almost all of the necessary equipments, besides the
building of their own sheds. They only hold little
specific acquired knowledge and are in need of a
strong support for training and learning of
additional knowledge. These groups, in general, do
not even have the knowledge about the sources and
means to demand financial and technical support.
The formal establishment of their cooperatives or
associations would mean social inclusion through
the creation of new laboring posts for catadores of recyclable materials – and the beginning
of their rising to a higher step of knowledge.
25

SK4 - STEP OF KNOWLEDGE 4: VERY LOW LEVEL OF ACQUIRED KNOWLEDGE.

Non-organized groups – collecting in streets or garbage dumps – without any equipment,


and often working for middlemen and deposit owners in
extremely precarious conditions. Except for the raw basic
knowledge linked do collection and selection of materials, they
lack almost any other knowledge. It is necessary financial
support for the complete mounting of the equipment and
building infrastructure facilities – what would enable them to
begin receiving more knowledge. The formal establishment of
their cooperatives or associations would mean social inclusion through the creation of new
laboring posts for catadores of recyclable materials. Up until their cooperatives are
established, these groups are very little affected by the availability of additional
knowledge.
26

 In the sample on which that study was based25, it is possible to get a glimpse of how
the cooperatives and associations of catadores in Brazil are distributed, classified
according to the respective Steps of Knowledge SK1, SK2, SK3 and SK4:

TABLE 1: NUMBER OF CATADORES AND COOPERATIVES


IN THE SAMPLE AND THEIR RESPECTIVE STEPS OF KNOWLEDGE
CATADORES
STEPS OF NUMBER OF NUMBER OF
% % PER
KNOWLEDGE CATADORES COOPERATIVES
COOPERATIVE
SK1 1,381 4% 24 7% 57.5
SK2 2,753 8% 70 21% 39.3
SK3 5,720 16% 122 37% 46.9
SK4 25,783 72% 115 35% 224.2
TOTAL 30,131 100% 331 100% 91.0
Source: Damásio, J. op.cit. p.85 – Table 5.1

 The cooperatives in better-off acquired knowledge level – as in SK1 – involve


about only 7% of the sample and give labor to an even lower proportion of
catadores: 4%. When coupled the two better acquired knowledge levels – SK1 and
SK2 -- we see that 28% of the cooperatives congregate only 12% of the catadores
in the sample.
 In the opposite extreme of acquired knowledge – SK4 -- 35% refers to the non-
organized groups, and responds to 72% of all catadores of recyclable materials in
the sample, working in absolutely precarious conditions.
 As SK3 is NOT significantly different from SK4 in knowledge content, it leads to
the conclusion that 72% of those groups -- with about 88% of catadores -- remain in
an unassisted state in respect to their minimum infrastructure, knowledge and
laboring conditions for performing their activities.
 How could public support be directed to these groups, without re-enforcing and
reproducing the same structural situation? In other words, it is not enough to
enhance the possibilities for the creation of new laboring places through capital
investment, if the catadores are to be inserted in a subdued and undermined position
– without any chance to escape the vicious circle of inefficiencies and low
productivities -- structurally dependent upon intermediaries, middlemen and deposit
owners. Only the enhancement of knowledge, coupled with capital investment,
could have a chance to really change it.

25
Op.cit
27

FROM BACKGROUND RESEARCH TO THIS WORKING PLAN: LEARNING-BY-DOING AND KNOWLEDGE


BY LEARNING

 It should be clearly stated from the outset – that the universalizing of knowledge
among catadores’ cooperatives and associations will not face the fundamental
question: the insufficient or non-existing capital goods and tools in these
organizations -- in a single word, the de-capitalization – of catadores. This question
is central – a touchstone – of the catadores social exclusion problem and in Brazil,
as we have seen, it is being dealt with through BNDES’ financing.
 The table presented below shows the regional distribution in Brazil of these
cooperatives and associations, segmented according to their Steps of Knowledge:

TABLE 2: SUMMARY OF THE COOPERATIVES REGIONAL


DISTRIBUTIACCORDING TO THEIR
STEPS OF KNOWLEDGE
TOTAL
REGION IN SK1 SK2 SK3 SK4
REGION
NORTH 2 0 0 1 1
CENTER-WEST 25 3 6 8 8
NORTHEAST 58 2 7 14 35
SOUTHEAST 112 14 47 35 16
SOUTH 47 6 10 22 9
TOTAL 244 25 70 80 69
Source: Damásio, J. op.cit. p.132 – Table 7.11

 It is apparent that the catadores’ associations and cooperatives that presently are
classified in the Step of Knowledge 1 (SK1)
display a higher organization level; greater
economic, physical and market efficiencies; and
better levels of revenues and social welfare.
 They also exhibit higher hygiene levels – with
adequate bath and restrooms – cleanliness and
uniforms wearing, and even kitchen and dining
room at their own processing plants.
 Some of these SK1 cooperatives also have
classrooms – for literacy classes, adequate
technical assistance, and training – some even
displaying computing rooms, inducing digital
integration.
 It is self-evident that there is an abysmal difference – in
terms of existing knowledge – between the catadores
who are today in group SK1 when compared to the
great majority that remain in group SK4. The dissemination of the existing
knowledge of those cooperatives in level SK1 would be a foundation from which it
28

would be possible to derive guidance for groups of catadores presently at


knowledge levels SK2, SK3, and, eventually even those groups presently classified
as SK426.

26
“[Knowledge,] when locked into systems or processes, has a higher inherent value than when it remains in
people’s heads” - BID-Program Profile-Knowledge Economy (KE) Program - Feb, 2008 –- item 2.2e.
29

8. JUSTIFICATIONS
FOR A KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY ON THE RECYCLING CHAINS: THE CATADORES AS
PROTAGONISTS

IS THIS A KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY PROJECT?

 By its tile, the project may seem to be much better a social rescue proposal than a
Knowledge Economy project, where one does not know the techniques, do not
know the impacts, there is a lack or absence of knowledge altogether.
 Nevertheless, there is no denying that the present project implies on the discussion
of knowledge vectors which embody an important component of social rescue.
After all, this project is focused on the, probably, most excluded human segment
among all of the other strata of our societies;
 Therefore, it becomes inevitable – when dealing with catadores of recyclable
materials – that it is mentioned the ways to foster their organization, formalization,
training e the ways to improve their living conditions.
 This would necessarily imply on the increase of their daily work earnings; on their
acquisition of equipment and facilities for efficient operation; on their literacy and
use of adequate equipment; and even on their adoption of hygiene notions and
sanitary conditions, and cleanliness of their working tools and uniforms.
 But it also implies in the transformation of the catadores of recyclable materials in
protagonists: in their taking part on the plants’ management and decision making; in
the formulation of revenue distribution criteria; finally on improvements on the
levels of internal democracy.
 The production of goods through re-uses and recycling has already shown to be a
technologically feasible, environmentally correct and economically efficient
practice. Besides, it undoubtedly is a potent instrument of social inclusion and
poverty reduction.
 However, its total contribution to the whole productive system and interfaces with
other activities are still left wanting better measurements and more detailed studies.
More aggravating still: the knowledge contents in the recycling chains – in
particular that present in catadores’ organizations – have never been extensively
studied!
 Presently, in Brazil, there are some cooperatives that hold a set of already acquired
knowledge – on techniques, organization and quality of their products – which are
used by their cooperates to benefit from sensibly higher income levels 27.
Nevertheless, these cooperatives, “leaders on acquired knowledge”, operate side-
by-side to a majority of catadores working in miserable and subdued conditions.
 The great majority of Brazilian catadores do not hold this knowledge, although one
could not say that they do not hold any knowledge whatsoever. Of course, we are
dealing here with different levels of acquired knowledge. This majority does not

27
In a text of IDB one can read: “ knowledge resources such as know-how, expertise and intellectual property
are more critical than other economic resources such as land, natural resources, or even manpower”. BID-
Program Profile-Knowledge Economy (KE) Program-Feb, 2008 – item 2.1.
30

know the techniques, does not know the impacts, and may even offer some
resistance to take part on any organization.
 Among the catadores there are variable levels of knowledge. Nevertheless, it is
possible to discern distinct thresholds, to which we can call steps of knowledge.
The analysis and evaluation of these different steps of knowledge (SK) – and its
possible dissemination of their higher levels – should indeed be a research topic of
Knowledge Economy, investigating the ways to reinforce the revenue of the
segments which still do not hold this knowledge.
 Therefore, the potentially resulting social integration – with an evident social
rescue flavor – has a Knowledge Economy (KE) component that cannot be
ignored.
 This Project inserts itself in the framework of Knowledge Economy by
highlighting and emphasizing the existing different knowledge levels within the
several groupings of catadores of recyclable materials28.
 However, it is necessary to note that this possible social integration cannot simply
be a consequence of acquired knowledge transfer on the part of the most advanced
cooperatives! It is necessary to understand that there are two different approaches to
tackle this problem: that of capitalization, and -- the here argued -- that of
knowledge.
 As it will be discussed later on29, without the simultaneous capitalization of the
catadores’ groups and organizations – through financial assistance for buying their
equipments, sheds and tools – the acquired knowledge of the most advanced
cooperatives are of little or no avail to non-organized catadores.

FOR A KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY APPLIED TO COLLECTION/SELECTION TECHNIQUES FOR


RECYCLABLES MATERIALS

 What is commonly called recycling chain, in reality corresponds to a whole set of


specific productive sub-chains for each different type of collected recyclable
material. That includes several different qualities of Plastic Materials: PET; PEAD;
PEBD; PVC; PP; PS; and plastic film, among
others. Also includes Papers (white, type 1,2
and 3; magazine papers; newspapers;
catalogues); Cardboards; Aluminum; different
types of Scrap Metals; Styrofoam; Tetrapak
(which combine two recyclables materials in a
single product: aluminum and cardboard);
among still other types of recyclable materials
frequently found at the industrial market place.

28
“Sometimes, utilization of traditional means to collect, transmit and apply K may be more effective than
highly sophisticated systems” - IDB-Knowledge Economy Program-Special Program Pre-Proposal-Draft-
May, 2008 item 2.1 p.4
29
Please refer below to the item on Capitalization and Knowledge.
31

 Besides that big amount of different quality materials, there are also variations by
colors, which correspond – according
to each color – to a different industrial
input, within the same sub-chain.30.
 For each pair of recyclable
material/color there corresponds a
given level of buying prices, from the
standpoint of the recycling industries.
In general, this differentiation is based
in two steps: a) the specific structures
of market intermediation; b) The
degree of existing acquired
knowledge in the cooperatives or associations of catadores – the basis of the
pyramid that feeds the whole chain and sub-chains, from their collecting practices.
 It is therefore necessary to generate knowledge about what the opportunity cost
will be for each type, kind and color of recyclable materials. The catadores must be
able to recognize in which materials one should devote time for specialized
collection and selection – those materials where aggregate value for sale are higher.
 Knowledge allows organized and efficient collection/selection of the most valuable
recyclable materials, instead of non-specialized
collection/selection, which lacks a conscious
knowledge of the different productive chains to
which the materials belong.
 To accumulate systematic knowledge about the
diversity of existing recyclables materials and its
adequate selection and packing means value
aggregation to the final selling prices, from the catadores viewpoint. The surpluses
generated in the commercialization in the recycling chain, between the street
collection – done by catadores – and its sale to the intermediation structures – all the
way to the demanding industries – may, in some cases top 500%.31.
 The above mentioned means that a correctly systemized knowledge about this
collection/selection techniques accrues to an increased per capita value for the
catadores – even if there is no increase in the gross physical production. This results
on a magnification of the income for this social segment. The better structured
associations and cooperatives already detain this knowledge. However, the great
majority of catadores remain in the streets and garbage dumps – in Brazil and in
most cities of the LAC countries – and they do not have this specific knowledge.
 The collection and dissemination of this kind of acquired knowledge is an integral
part related to the catadores’ traditional knowledge – or already existing in the

30
For example, for white PEBD, the material can be recycled as input to a great number of recyclables goods
of several colors. For a PEBD of dark color, its recycling can only be inputted for the production of dark
color products. It should be clear that in the first case a price significantly higher would be paid, as compared
to the second.
31
A report published by Pangea gives notice that a Kg of PET is sold by catadores for US$ 0,07 to
intermediates, who – selecting and aggregating its different types/colors – re-sell it for an average of US$
0,80/Kg.
32

organized cooperatives and associations. This existing


acquired knowledge is only powered as value when
made available to those who do not have it32.

FOR A KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY APPLIED TO THE


IDENTIFICATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF MARKET
PLAYERS IN THE RECYCLING PROCESS ALONG THE
PRODUCTIVE CHAINS OF RECYCLABLE MATERIALS

 To be able to identify the main actors in the productive chains and sub-chains in the
commercialization of recyclable materials, by its nature and type, is a necessary
first-step. This knowledge will lead to the understanding of the different forms of
production and appropriation of values, and the relative gains along the chain --
taken the logistic in the collection/distribution of each of the recyclable materials –
and finally, to the knowledge about the characteristics of the existing market
structures.
 The main bottleneck to the direct sales of materials from catadores to the recycling
industries – besides correct selection – is scale and regularity in delivery to attend
demand.
 The recycling industries, as a rule, cannot accept
irregularities in the supply of recyclable materials, nor
will they be interested in buying little amounts of goods,
averting risks to its productive processes.
 Most catadores – not having the existing knowledge in
the cooperatives and associations – are unorganized and
generally work in an isolated and atomized way. They
pick out their recyclable materials by hand in the streets, or in the cities’ garbage
dumps, and sell non-selected materials, each small portion a day33 – to the
advantage of the intermediating structures.
 Nevertheless, even when catadores do acquire
some equipment -- but not the already existing
knowledge – and organize themselves in
cooperatives or associations, the volumes of
recyclables collected by them are still relatively
small, when compared to the scales required by the
demanding industries. As they still cannot reach
the scale level to meet industries’ demands, they,
as yet, remain subdued by commercial
intermediation.

32
“In a KE, Knowledge is used to produce economic benefits, therefore making it an engine of economic
growth”. IDB-Knowledge Economy Program-Special Program Pre-Proposal-Draft- May, 2008 Item 1.1 p.1.
33
The daily survival time-horizon of the majority of catadores imply on the continuous selling of small
amounts of non-selected recyclables. This precludes inventories building, reduces the prices of all of the
materials and subjugates the catadores permanently.
33

 Under these circumstances, the catadores have to acquire new knowledge: the
collective selling of recyclable materials through a Trading Network.
 Trading Networks34 introduce new
organizational and logistic strategies in
the short-run, fully able to generate
gains in efficiencies, with reasonable
diffusion power, and with a potential for
improvement of the life standards of
catadores affiliated to cooperatives and
associations linked to these Networks.
 In a Trading Network one can find
cooperatives which are structurally
different: it puts together, side-by-side,
highly efficient cooperatives and groups
of catadores still in the streets or in
garbage dumps, which display
extremely low efficiencies.
 A Trading Network allows that certain
types of materials which are collected in
cooperatives which do not display a productive scale to be sold at better prices. Its
main objective is to group – and in some cases to stack – recyclable materials until
the required volumes are obtained that satisfy the industries’ demand specifications.
 In all cases, it is apparent that the returns are higher than those which would be
obtainable by individual, decentralized,
commercialization. In this sense, a Trading
Network is a new knowledge that puts
together the efforts of different cooperatives
and, in fact, is actually an efficient
management strategy to face a concentrated
market filled by middlemen.
 It should come as no surprise that, although there are exceptions, the biggest gains
in economic efficiency through the trading network sales are displayed by the
smaller and less structured cooperatives. They are the ones that best profit from
positive externalities of this new knowledge in the process35.
 The new knowledge of the characteristics of a Trading Network becomes an
entrepreneurial strategy for the catadores. It amounts to an intelligence agency
which articulates small, medium and big catadores organizations in order to
coordinate and perform systematic and simultaneous trading actions.
 If Trading Networks are efficient enough to concentrate big enough monthly
volumes, they can also become able to surpass the intermediating structures, selling

34
The Rede CataBahia was the first such network in Brazil. For a more detailed discussion of a working
Trade Network in São Paulo, please refer to Damasio, J. (cord.) 2007: “Relatório Técnico de Avaliação de
Sustentabilidade do Projeto CataSampa, São Paulo, Brasil” – AVINA.
35
“KE, thus, is defined as the added non-monetary value that society accrues from increased access to data,
information, and knowledge” - op.cit. item1.1 p.1.
34

directly to the recycling industries, and getting better prices for the same aggregate
volume of materials.
 This new knowledge about the structuring and
operation of a trading network may eventually
make possible the analysis of the consumer
markets for recyclables materials on a regional
and/or national basis. It also makes it possible to
construct an information system about the present
and future trends of the productive chains and
sub-chains – following the medium and long-run
market movements – aggregating knowledge
about strategic market positioning of the catadores organizations.
 However, even the Trading Networks of catadores’ cooperatives are still unable to
build strong volumes to face seasonal market fluctuations, as they still lack
knowledge about sub-chains inventories’ formation, what are they, and how do the
analytical variables would behave in the formation and variation of prices through
time.36
 There is still a lack of data and information – lack of knowledge -- which could
indicate in which sectors of the recycling sub-chains it is possible to obtain the
higher value aggregation -- and what is the adequate technological level -- in order
to insert the Trading Networks in a more verticalized process. There can be
distinguished a number of bottlenecks which are obstacles for this process to
become a widespread and efficient public policy.
 Trading Networks of catadores of recyclable materials are new and recent
phenomena, less than three years old in Latin America, still singular, almost
restricted to Brazil – with a great portion of experiencing and still little know
academically.
 This recent move, if successful, will certainly imply in the building of articulated
knowledge to this empirical practices. It also would mean a shift of strategic
positioning of catadores in the productive chains and sub-chains from mere isolated
providers for the intermediating structures, to active suppliers of recycled raw
materials to the demanding industries.37.
 A better understanding of the productive chains and sub-chains of the recycling
process – a new knowledge -- and the adoptions of measures to foster the
organization of Trading Networks for catadores’ cooperatives and associations, will
certainly lead to opportunities and the accumulation of critical knowledge for
structuring a social technology to fight poverty and enhance social inclusion.

36
For instance, the price of naphtha in the international market may impact on the virgin PET resin in such
ways that it can occasionally be cheaper than the recycled resin – as paradoxical as it may seem..
37
The Trading Network REDE CATABHAIA, subject of study of the present Project, is the first national
network which has introduced this strategy in Brazil, and is now a Brazilian reference experience. In 2007 it
was granted a prize by the United Nations as one of the 50 best experiences in the direction to reach the
Millennium Development Objectives – in the category of combating poverty. As an experience that it is, it
has accumulated a successful empirical knowledge. Therefore, it is proposed to analyze the nature of its
acquired knowledge, systematize it along with a set of other techniques and practices, focusing at the
construction of a KIE, reproducible in other Latin American and Caribbean experiences.
35

FOR A KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY APPLIED TO LOGISTIC TECHNIQUES FOR COLLECTION, PROCESSING


AND TRANSPORT OF RECYCLABLES MATERIALS

 In general, recyclable materials have as a characteristic its light weight and big
spatial volume. To pay for carrying air is very frequent in selective collection
operations.
 The density of the distribution of recyclable materials in a territory depends on three
basic variables: the average families’ incomes of the inhabitants of this territory; the
population of that region/city; and the presence of big enterprises.
 The higher the average income, the higher is the proportion between recyclable
materials to organic garbage produced in the territory. In line with this fact, the
higher will also be the per capita economic value imbedded in the domestic
residuals. Any catador, organized or not, already knows it -- or, in other words,
detains this knowledge -- what can be seen by their actual territorial distribution.
 The bigger the population of a region and/or city, the higher is the territorial density
of recyclables. The number of catadores occupied in this territory tends to follow
this density. The knowledge of the territory and the ways for recyclable materials
collection and outflows are essential logistical needs for an effective action.
 The greater the number of enterprises existing in a city/region the higher will be the
recyclables density concentrated in rather small territorial spaces. The negotiation
of access to the residuals of the so-called big producers of recyclable materials38 --
preferably allowing the adequate collection and selection in loco -- is a necessary
knowledge to potentially bring about increases on the average physical and
economic efficiencies.
 The correct modeling of the collection of recyclable materials – through the
distribution of a certain number of regional
warehouses strategically located – up until a central
warehouse is an empirical knowledge, as yet not
systematized, nor clearly articulated to the existing
formal models.
 In the same way, the correct modeling for an
articulated consortium for transshipments between
human-powered collection carts and collection
trucks – aiming at obtaining higher volumes of
recyclable materials at the lowest economic cost
possible – is an empirical knowledge as well, not yet systematized, nor aggregated
to formal models.
 Presently, the registers for theoretical modeling of recyclable materials collection
systems – which simultaneously consider weight and volume, are essentially erratic.
This is mainly due to irregularities on the time-distribution of solid urban waste,
when considering the territorial and income variables of the region under
consideration. Here, again, the empirical acquired knowledge has a determinant
role for the efficiency of the activity.
 So far, mathematical models for logistical purposes through computing routines –
which consider variables as the sheds/warehouses/centrals and the transshipments
38
Supermarkets, Shopping Malls, Retail Networks, Hotels, Restaurants and some industries.
36

between human-powered collection carts and collection trucks -- have also resulted
in erratic and untrustworthy results.
 As beforehand said, the empirical knowledge of seasonal variations – and even
the right times of the day for collection – are determinants for the logistic success of
an efficient performance39.
 These elements demonstrate the importance of gathering more information –
generating new knowledge -- on the dynamical process of prices valuation for
recyclable materials, under circumstances where logistics have a determinant role.
The absence of this knowledge brings inefficiency and higher costs for the
catadores, be it for the simple adoption of unarticulated collection systems, be it for
the unwise use of transshipment trucks.
 The questions pin-pointed above highlight the necessity for building a new
structured knowledge on what models of logistic circuits arrangements for the
collection/selection of recyclable materials are economically sustainable and
operationally feasible for diversified situations, where the aforementioned variables
have different intensities in each territory, in each different season of the year, and
even at different hours of the day.

FOR A KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY APPLIED TO PRODUCTION VERTICALIZATION40 TECHNIQUES AND NEW


ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL OPPORTUNITIES.

 The aggregation of additional value to recyclable materials through production


verticalization by the catadores’ organizations themselves requires a prior existence
of volume and regularity in the supply of these materials.
 Therefore production verticalization and additional value aggregation generally has
better chances of success in catadores’ cooperatives and associations organized
within recyclable materials Trading Networks.41
 However, in which recyclable materials sub-chains to aggregate additional value?
Up until what level of production verticalization will it be technically and
economically feasible to go? The knowledge about the correct routing of these
questions is essentially new for the cooperatives and associations of catadores.
 In Brazil, some organizations of catadores have already developed new empirical
knowledge about
these questions and
are ready to provide
blueprints – new
knowledge in
transferable form,
accordingly to the
39
Thus in accordance with the reference to the “development of indigenous innovation capabilities, [and]
modernization of information sharing infrastructure” - BID-Program Profile-Knowledge Economy (KE)
Program-Feb, 2008 – item 2.7.
40
It will be understood by “production verticalization” the introduction of segments of industrial recycling
and/or manufacturing to the own catadores’ cooperated processing plants.
41
The REDE CATABAHIA is deploying a plastic recycling industry that will produce sanitary water bottles
which will be sold by Wal-Mart supermarkets throughout the country. This will be an unheard-of feat of
catadores who left the garbage dumps to become small industrial entrepreneurs.
37

proposal of this project – on these feasible production verticalizations, that is, the
procedures’ descriptions of in loco additional value aggregation for the recycling of
materials.
 Also in Brazil, new opportunity windows are now open for biofuels from used
cooking oil, which now becomes a potential input for
biodiesel plants.42 However, as cooking oil is a liquid
residual, the adequate logistic structure to collect it at a
large scale is not duly matured.
 The proper development of this knowledge will bring
about new returns to scale and higher incomes -- in the
event the logistics of the cooperatives’ Trading
Networks can be adapted to bear this new recyclable
material.
 Petrobrás43 – currently the fourth biggest enterprise of the Americas – has recently
begun an aggressive strategy for buying used cooking oil amassed by catadores’
cooperatives. However, there is still no knowledge about the market and its
nuances: reachable volumes, prices to practice and selling commercial margins.
 Additionally, it is not defined the question on what would be the levels of
additional value aggregation to the used cooking oil – scalding, filtering,
purification and potting – adequate for selling it to Petrobrás, as the whole process
is too recent.44 The access to this new knowledge would provide new income levels
belonging to the pre-industrial stage of refining, within the recycling process.
 Currently, used cooking oil is not a generally collected residual still – and is
certainly produced by the great majority of the households. Therefore there is a vast
potential for that new knowledge to be rapidly disseminated throughout the country,
via blueprints, as it is proposed in this project.
 On the other hand, the catadores are also potentially collectors of organic residuals,
which could be processed in scale, feeding
biodigestors built for the production of
manure and the generation of electric
energy. This energy could be sold, or else,
absorbed in the catadores’ recyclable
materials production plants.
 An expressive potential is dealt with here,
and already there are pilot-projects in
course for the deployment of biodigestors
in catadores’ organizations.45 In the world, at present, the experience involving the

42
The first Brazilian Biodiesel Plant – fit for buying used cooking oil – is being built in the neighborhoods of
Salvador by Petrobrás – Petróleo do Brasil S. A. Note that used cooking oil generate a biofuel that will not
put any pressure on the costs of foods.
43
One of the Supporting Institutions of this present Project. Please refer to the Supporting Letter, attached to
the end of this Working Plan.
44
For example, to know how to answer to the question about what is the additional aggregated value if the
catadores themselves are able to eliminate the impurities, delivering the oil ready to be industrially inputted.
45
The REDE CATABAHIA is presently deploying a biodigestor to generate energy to be consumed by the
plastic recycling industry belonging to the catadores own Trading Network. It is certainly an innovation at a
global scale, as it aims at the total use of both organic and recyclable residuals.
38

deployment of biodigestors in cooperatives of catadores of recyclable materials


basically is limited to India and Brazil. It is necessary to follow the development
stages of this new knowledge, articulating these experiences with scientific
knowledge.46
 The ensemble of this system of collecting the whole of recyclable materials – solids
and organics, which would go instead to
garbage dumps or sanitary landfills – and
producing additional value aggregation,
methane gas, and electrical energy
generation is perfectly quantifiable in
respect to the saved natural resources:
water, trees, bauxite, copper, aluminum,
and petrochemicals, among others.
 The new knowledge embedded in these
processes open up new opportunity horizons to build methodologies to fit them into
the Kyoto Protocol – allowing these catadores’ organizations to derive bonuses, so
far conceded only to the benefit of big corporations47.

ON PURSUING A KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY FRAMEWORK FOR CATADORES

 This Project is justified – before anything – by its insertion within BID’s Knowledge
Economy Program48 lines, concerned with providing the lower income population
with valuation strategies for the means and options for income generation from the
capital they collectively already hold49: the knowledge of practices and techniques for
collection, selection and processing of solid urban residuals50.
 The unequal distribution of this knowledge-capital generates considerable disparities
of earnings, as far as it remains concentrated in a couple of ‘excellence cooperatives’.
 The implementation and execution of this Project should, to some extent, contribute
for the enhancement of knowledge-capital distribution and the increase of value
revenues accrued by this segment of our population – that of catadores -- departing
from Knowledge Economy elements.
 It will promote the articulation of already embodied acquired knowledge – existing
in the most advanced catadores’ organizations – with new knowledge, seeking to
capitalize51 the gains to scale in collective commercialization and articulated logistics.

46
Recently in Brazil, an ex-catador has developed and patented a biodigestor by the name redgestor that
generates methane, or natural gas. This only reinforces the topics above discussed.
47
“[…] Developing countries must at the same time invest in the generation of new knowledge through
investments in education, innovation, adequate regulatory framework and viable institutions”. IDB-
Knowledge Economy Program-Special Program Pre-Proposal-Draft- May, 2008 – item 1.4 – p.2.
48
Cf. IDB - Knowledge Economy Program-Special Program Pre-Proposal-Draft- May, 2008
49
“A line of action devoted to providing the poor with the option and means to generate income out of capital
they already posses would contribute enormously to the growth in value and worth of low-income groups and
society in general”. Op.cit. item 1.11 – p.3. Our emphasis, JD.
50
“[...] investment is needed to capture, retain and manage knowledge that already exists (so called
“knowledge spillover”) and put it to work as a factor in production” - op.cit. Item 1.4 – p.2.
51
In a similar spirit of this quote: “Develop a means to capitalize on indigenous knowledge for the benefit
of the communities-source of employment and income, valued counterpart, and others” op.cit. Item 2.13 p.9.
39

 Finally, by formulating and proposing replicable Integrated Knowledge Modules


(IKM), it allows for knowledge diffusion; the betterment
organizational methods; and the propagation of articulated
knowledge within traditional structures -- accruing value to
cumulative knowledge.
 The strengthening of the linkages between the public sector, the
Scientific Institutions, and the Enterprises will be favored by a
better organized sector of catadores of recyclable materials –
supported by their own cumulative knowledge.
 Even more than that, it will allow that this knowledge is not lost52

ON CAPITALIZATION AND KNOWLEDGE

 Let us try to answer a rhetoric question: by the Project’s conclusion – assuming that
the acquired knowledge were systematized, disseminated, and even amplified – will
the problem remain the same, once their fundamental causes are of a different nature?
 This Project does NOT deal with solving, or else extinguishing, the fundamental causes
of the social exclusion of the catadores of recyclable
materials. It is understood that the fundamental causes
can be found in the still widespread absence of capital
goods -- equipments, facilities and tools -- which would
allow them to assume labor posts, and that, ensuing,
would contribute to increasing their activities’
productivity.
 Therefore, in this sense, this Project inserts itself on the assumption of the pre-
existence of some basic requirements: a) the presence of some advanced catadores’
cooperatives of level SK1; b) the introduction of public and/or private social programs
for the capitalization of catadores’ cooperatives and associations.
 In a country where the catadores would remain without any access to financing
sources or funds – which could allow them to acquire
capital goods – they would definitely be disabled to be
benefited by the results of this Project. It would be of no
avail to them that the sets of acquired knowledge
amassed by the most advanced cooperatives get
systematized, diffused and even amplified: their objective conditions of work would
NOT be altered.
 Nevertheless, as argued before, the simple access to financing sources seems to be
insufficient for ruling out the subjugation and marginalization of catadores. Let us
take, for example, the cooperatives at the Steps of Knowledge SK3 and SK4: their
deficiencies in acquired and new knowledge – in its respective steps – play a
determinant role here.
 It follows that it seems that the addressing of the questions related to the catadores of
recyclable materials would embrace two intermingled, Siamese, initiatives: a) the
capitalization, through financing for the acquisition of equipments, facilities and
52
“Today an un-quantified amount of Knowledge (K) is lost because development agents are not actively
seeking to capture and retain it”. - op.cit. Item 1.2 – p.1.
40

tools, on which this Project IS NOT focused53; b) the implementation of the


Knowledge Economy topics – discussed throughout this Working Plan -- of what,
indeed, verses the present Project.
 It may by now be too evident that only Public Policies that put together concerted
efforts on both ends – capitalization AND knowledge – would be able to have some
success54.
 Only one of these two questions has been so far addressed in Brazil – through the
BNDES’ funding for the capitalization of catadores’ organizations.
 However – as the alluded questions are Siamese – it still falls short of correctly
addressing those problems. There is still a long way before us, and, it is under this
background – of a set of typical Knowledge Economy actions – that the present
Project inserts itself.

WORDS OF CAUTION

 When compared to the catadores’ problematic the thematic of Knowledge


IS NOT
Economy ONLY marginal? Is it through the Integrated Knowledge Modules (IKM)
that the catadores’ problematic will be solved?
 The nature of this Project cannot be misunderstood!
 The building of the Integrated Knowledge Modules (IKM) – by itself – WILL NOT
bring a solution to the catadores’ problems. And it is correct to argue for the
viewpoint that the subject of knowledge is relatively marginal before the enormity
and urgency of the catadores’ main problem which their de-capitalization and the
consequent economic exclusion of their majority.
 At this point, it should be clear and evident that the only way to promote the
economic inclusion of catadores is through the organization; formalization; and,
particularly, the capitalization of their cooperatives and associations. A project that
would aim their social inclusion through the above mentioned set of measures,
should clearly NOT be addressed under the Knowledge Economy standpoint.
 However, following what has been previously exposed, the simple bare
appropriation of equipments and facilities by the cooperatives and associations –
critical founding step, sine qua non, for the onset of the catadores economic
integration – shows itself to be a necessary, but insufficient action55.
 The complex structure and concentration of the markets for recyclable materials
require not only the dissemination – but, more particularly, the potentiating – of the
acquired knowledge held by the most advanced cooperatives of catadores (SK1),
side-by-side with the gradual incorporation of new knowledge.

53
It has been focused before! Please Cf. Damásio, J. op.cit. 2006.
54
“A country strategy to apply KE opportunities to a more profitable and equitable utilization of existing
knowledge, as well as the development of knowledge-based industries that can tap into traditional local
knowledge, would hold great potential to improve the conditions of lower-income groups”. Op.cit. item 1.11,
p.3.
55
“Knowledge is recognized as a source of competitiveness, where value lies in new ideas, services and
networks, using technology as an instrument, not as an end in itself.” - op.cit. Item 1.1 - p.1.
41

 It is in that sense – looking to understand the several steps of acquired knowledge


of the distinct and stratified catadores’ groupings SK1, SK2, SK3 and even SK4 –
that the present research Project lays its premises and initial grounds56.

9. SUPPORTING LETTERS

56
“Through carefully crafted KE investments, the poor can earn more out of their knowledge capital than they
would out of their labor alone.” - op.cit. Item 1.11 - p.3.
42

 Please find attached to this proposal, fac-similes of two supporting letters from,
respectively, Petrobrás and from the Ministério do Desenvolvimento Social e
Combate à Fome - MDS.
 It is important to note that MDS’ supporting letter is signed by the General
Secretary from the Comitê Interministerial de Inclusão Social dos Catadores de
Materiais Recicláveis57.
 This Comitê Interministerial de Inclusão Social dos Catadores de Materiais
Recicláveis -- created by Presidential Decree on September, 2003 – is coordinated
by the MDS, and it is represented by 10 Brazilian Federal Government institutions:

• MMA – Ministério do Meio Ambiente; (Environmental Ministry)


• MTE – Ministério do Trabalho e Emprego; (Labor and Employment Ministry)
• MCT – Ministério de Ciência e Tecnololgia; (Science and Technology Ministry)
• MEC – Ministério da Educação; (Ministry of Education)
• MS – Ministério da Saúde; (Health Ministry)
• MDIC - Ministério do Desenvolvimento, Indústria e Comércio; (Ministry of
Development, Industry and Commerce)
• SEDH – Secretaria Especial de Direitos Humanos da Presidência da
República; (Human Rights Special Secretary of the Presidency)
• Casa Civil da Presidência da República; (Presidency Civil Affairs)
• Caixa Econômica Federal; (a federal bank)
• BNDES - Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social

57
Interministerial Committee for the Social Inclusion of Catadores of Recyclable Materials.
43
44