Guidelines & Tools

Environmental Communication Strategy for MSW Management in Sao Paulo, Brazil


This Strategic Environmental Communication Plan focused on solid waste management is the result of the preparation of a communication strategy to promote citizen awareness about recycling and selective collection of solid waste. This activity was developed as part of the second stage of work for Sao Paulo of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition Municipal Solid Waste Initiative (CCAC MSWI). The implementation of the second stage was carried out by the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) and local coordination is under the responsibility of the Brazilian Association of Public Cleansing and Waste Management Companies (ABRELPE). The first stage included diagnostic procedures and the design of an Action Plan for the city of São Paulo, in agreement with goals and objectives of its Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan (PGIRS); in its second stage, the project aims at providing technical and strategic guidance on compliance with the Action Plan, training on operation of waste treatment units and on public communication.
In the process, organisations responsible for planning and implementing continuous improvement processes in solid waste management were consulted. The process also allowed to determine which measures have already been adopted and to identify success and failure, expectations and decisions.
Along the development of this project, the enormous potential of the city of São Paulo to improve communication actions has been acknowledged, as a consequence of the work around solid waste management. The existing database is still limited, and the city demands the definition of a leading coordination team responsible for communication and environmental education, with the ability to work cooperatively so as to achieve results that benefit all.
The document considers successful experiences from around the world, suggests feasible implementation, and presents some communication solutions for the many challenges to come. These challenges refer to the volume of separate collection for dry and organic recyclables waste, implementation of solid waste recovery units, identification of target groups and the most effective communication actions regarding the quality of messages to be transmitted.
As important as defining technical strategies for recovery of solid waste in the city, is the definition of an integrated environmental communication strategy which allows presenting the various solutions proposed and promoting engagement and awareness of citizens and key stakeholders. This work is not a mission for a single individual or organisation - it is a collective mission demanding partnerships, alliances and motivation of all São Paulo society.
The current conditions are favourable and we are certain that São Paulo meets the necessary conditions to be a world reference in the successful implementation of an environmental communication strategy allied to technical options for waste management, and that this experience can be replicated in cities with similar dimensions.
This document is available in English and Portuguese.