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we train young recyclers to be environmental advocates and community leaders by using technological tools and inclusive model business.



The objective of our proposal is to train more than 60 youth recyclers on waste management, recycling activities, and technological tools in order to constitute a group of trainers able to teach to more than 300 people about specific strategies oriented to promote a recycling culture by introducing and explaining the use of a technological tool created by our team whose objective is to facilitate and technify the recycling process in Bogotá. Trainers belong to recyclers who work for social and informal organizations.

These people  informally collect the garbage from the streets, households, industries, hospitals and schools, in order to obtain materials that can be reused . They indicate a very strong social and economic vulnerability, being inconspicuous and stigmatized by: to work on the streets and to work with waste, being that recycling activity is the only one option to survive and to generate income. Also Recyclers or “garbage collectors” are people who live in extreme poverty conditions where all family members usually participate in the collecting process, including children, elderly and women.

By the end of the training, youth recyclers need to be able to handle their communities and their social environment. With this we want  people and youth trainers to be aware about some specific strategies and activities oriented to facilitate the recycling process in order to reduce the amount of re-usable materials that every day arrive to the landfill, introduce them to new technologies created by our team with the objective to connect different social actors and finally give them job and income generation opportunities. Simultaneously they receive education in environmental topics, dignifying their work and raising awareness about the importance of better patterns of consumption.

Category of action

Youth Leadership on Climate Change

What actions do you propose?

Our Actions will be divided into three phases denominated “Identification and prioritization of social actors”, “Practice and theoretical Train”, “Environmental promoters: Validation of the training and education process”.

1.Induction and socialization of social actors.(1 month)

  • Meetings and socializations of the project with recycling organizations.

  • Meetings and socializations of the project in recycling neighborhoods.

  • Selection of youth leaders.

  • Design of didactic, pedagogic and promoting materials.

2.Practice and theoretical Train

  • Presential and practical lectures

  • Personal learning based on oriented lectures and videos

  • Field Excursions

  • Social campaigns or events

3.Environmental promoters: Validation of the training and education process

  • Evaluate the results of the youth leaders in the  training.

  • Environmental education campaigns by the youth leaders.

  • Evaluate the rise of the use of our technological application

  • Validation of the Business model  

  • Publish the results

Who will take these actions?

There are three important actors involved in the development of this proposal:

  1. RECICLApps: we are a team of youths  composed by two forestry engineers, one social worker and one mechatronic engineer. We were born as an initiative of the mayoral office of Bogotá and the high counseling of Bogotá, Colombia, for the development of TICs (technologies of information and communication). Our objective is to develop a technological application and a web site oriented to connect different actors involved in the recycling processes in Bogotá, including the community that generates the “waste”, the recyclers or garbage collectors, the processing industry and the mega industries responsible of their emissions and environmental impacts.  Our idea is to connect them and make more efficient the recycling process starting from the source of waste and passing though the transformation industry.

  1. The trainers: Trainers are the youth recyclers who work for social and informal organizations. They informally collect the garbage from the streets, households, industries, hospitals and schools, in order to obtain materials that can be reused . They are economically disadvantaged youth that indicate a very strong social and economic vulnerability, being inconspicuous and stigmatized by: to work on the streets and to work with waste, being that recycling activity is the only one option to survive and to generate income.

  1. Society: These actors receive the environment education process given by the youth leader recyclers.

What are other key benefits?

More than 6.500 tons of waste are being daily deposited into the landfill of Bogota, from which the 70% can be recycled and re used which could be an option for obtaining income for more than 13000 people who live from recycling in Bogota city.


  • Reduction of materials arriving to the landfill of the city

  • Increase the service life of the landfill in Bogota.

  • Reduce energy invested for producing new materials by reusing recycled materials

  • Encourage the development of a circular economy

  • We add value to products made of recycled raw materials

  • Promote youth leadership  on subjects related to climate change and sustainable use of waste

  • Promote the inclusion of marginalized and vulnerable social actors

  • We promote the use of easy access technologies for the sustainable use of waste

  • Encourage families to separate their waste and be aware about the importance of recycle  

  • We recognize youths as key social actors in order to change our current consumption patterns

What are the proposal’s costs?

The total project cost is U.S. $ 12.221: we seek funding for U.S. $ 10,000 given by Climate Colab and $ 2,221 will be provided by us as a team RECICLApps.

Phase 1 Induction and socialization of social actors: The costs of this activity involves: field views, socialization meetings, induction processes with youth recyclers and design of teaching, pedagogical and promoting materials for the project like transportation services, snacks, mobile communication, printing and stationery.

Phase 2 Practice and theoretical Train: We will need to invest resources to hire specialists primarily for helping us to train youth leaders, event logistics including snacks, transportation for 60 youngs and mobile communication.

Phase 3 Environmental promoters: Validation of the training and education process: During this phase our investment will be oriented to technological development of a tool which can generate employment options for these youngs as well as support during the training journeys for Bogota's citizens.


Time line

5-15 years: At this stage, young people have grown up and become adults. They start to contribute for fortifying the recycling process by reducing the amount of waste and use tools which allow them to take advantage of the re used materials, while ensuring the reduction in energy consumption.

15-20 years: People who were trained by young recyclers have learnt and fortified their recycling skills and have contribute to  replicate such initiatives to other locations to implement the waste reduction tools in their territory. At this stage people is ware about the importance of  the separation at the source while the industry is fully  conscious about their  impacts on the environment, and therefore promotes  changes in technologies, while improving their income by reducing the investment costs of raw materials.

50-100 years: It will be observed a cultural change where recycling becomes part of the daily activities of people, it will influence the reduction of emissions from large industries, leading to lower energy consumption and quality growth in the economy, based on the innovation.

Related proposals

We have not identified proposals related to ours, if taking into account that we work on sustainable use of waste and recycling related activities. However if we only take a look on the approach we attempt to make with young leaders coming from recycling organizations we can find some similarities with the proposal called: Climate change is elementary: Huge green fundraiser for schools.

References el 13 de julio de 2014