Problem: Despite exponential growth in Lima’s solid waste to about 8,468 tons of garbage generated daily, corresponding to 47% of the national total, Peru’s capital city only recycles 4% of its garbage, making it the city with the highest ecological footprint.
Solution: EcoTrash - The “Uber of trash”, provides a platform that connects users to recycling collectors where both parties benefit. It incentivizes clean environment by pinpointing to collectors places for collection and users in turn collect points on the app that can be redeemed with businesses assigned to the platform or as donations to charitable causes.
Goals and objectives: Incentivizing effective waste management and sustainability through recycling.
Implementation: Ecotrash was cofounded by Antonella Romero in 2013 who as a young entrepreneur decided to use her extensive experience as an advisor to Peru’s Ministry for Innovation and Technology to address the issue of recycling in her county. She remembers that she was spurred to action when she saw a person dumpster diving in search of something profitable. Other existing initiatives by NGOs and Government could not encourage citizens to recycle as much as a platform where users directly gain from recycling. If there are people willing to collect recyclable waste, then it is just about giving citizens an incentive to put them in contact with collectors. “An informal collector earns around seven dollars per day (less than five euros) on a 12-hour workday looking for waste," Romero explains, and she states that those assigned to her platform earn double the money in half the amount of time.
On the EcoTrash platform, garbage collectors get an alert from the user to collect their trash. The user in turn accumulates points to exchange them on this platform. On the one hand the platform encourages citizens to recycle and makes it easier for them to do so and on the other hand, provides a better quality of life to the people who make a living collecting recyclable trash.
The service is free to users but it also offers a separate paid service to corporate clients. Another source of revenue is for EcoTrash to sell the products that are collected, essentially monetizing recycling as a business opportunity. EcoTrash currently hopes to expand to four additional regions and work directly with municipalities and governments.
Achievements: The platform spurs decent job creation for collectors through technology. Women recyclers increase their income by 40% and reduce their workday from 12 hours to 8 hours. Founder and CTO of Sourtech, Hernan Roig, jury member of Innovators Under 35 Latin America 2018, considers EcoTrash to be “solid project with both a social and an economic impact that contributes to society in two very important ways: it dignifies the work of the people dedicated to the collection of urban waste and it has a clear environmental impact."
Latest impact in numbers- 452,000 recycled plastic bottles, 23 200 Kilos of paper recovered, 9430 kilos of cardboard recovered.
Ecotrash currently operates in 17 districts of Lima city, has 18 corporate clients and 9 associated collectors. In the first quarter of 2019, they collected 27 tons.
Phone: (+51) 994458643