Difficulties of selective collection of the household waste in a Brazilian metropolis: qualitative study





Selective collection, Collectors, Civil servants, Qualitative method


This work sought to analyze the main difficulties in implementing and maintaining selective waste collection in a Brazilian metropolis with more than 1 million inhabitants. Therefore, a qualitative method was used through in-depth interviews with 18 professionals working in the area of selective collection: employees of the city hall department responsible for public cleaning, self-employed collectors of recyclable materials and professionals linked to institutions that carry out selective collection. The interviews were recorded and the data submitted to content analysis. The results showed the lack of management of the process by the government, as evidenced by the following difficulties: low efficiency and limited coverage; poor separation of waste at source; distortions in the selective collection logistics chain and in the distribution of waste by cooperatives; high informality, precarious work and low pay for collectors; presence of middlemen and corruption in the system; and idle capacity of cooperatives and public organs.  Differences were found in the perception of different actors in the selective collection process: for collectors and consultants, the role of cooperatives would be a possible solution to improve the efficiency of selective collection, while for civil servants in the sector, the collectors are one of the problems in the process. It was concluded that to overcome the difficulties in selective collection and for it to be more effective, there is a need to improve the management of the process by the government with greater transparency and integration between the various actors involved, education of the population, better working conditions and remuneration for collectors, among others.


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How to Cite

Gabriel de Pinna Mendez, & Claudio Fernando Mahler. (2022). Difficulties of selective collection of the household waste in a Brazilian metropolis: qualitative study. New Trends in Qualitative Research, 14, e588. https://doi.org/10.36367/ntqr.14.2022.e588