Reports, Case Studies & Assessments

Strategy for Organic Waste Diversion - Collection, Treatment, Recycling and Their Challenges and Opportunities for the City of Sao Paulo, Brazil


This document has been realized as part of the second phase of the City Assistance Project offered to the Municipality of Sao Paulo (Brazil) under the framework of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition Municipal Solid Waste Initiative (CCAC MSWI). The project was implemented by ISWA, the International Solid Waste Association, with the local coordination of ABRELPE, the Brazilian Association of Public Cleaning and Special Waste Companies (ISWA’s National Member in Brazil). The first phase of the project was a city assessment and the establishment of an Action Plan for Sao Paulo, in line with Sao Paulo’s PGIRS (Plan for Integrated Management of Solid Waste) lasting from 2014 to 2033. The second phase of the project aims to provide technical and strategic guidance on how to pursue the Action Plan and build capacity in public communication and organic waste treatment plant operation.
This strategy paper is an outcome of one of the activities in the second phase, namely for the Action “Define the strategy for organic waste diversion and help realize a pilot biowaste treatment plant” of the Action Plan.
The idea of this activity came about after assessing the current Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) management activities in Sao Paulo and considering the targets and guidelines defined in Sao Paulo’s Master Plan for the City of Sao Paulo (Plano de Gestão Integrada de Resíduos Sólidos da Cidade de Sao Paulo - PGIRS). The Master Plan strongly emphasizes the role of diverting organic waste from disposal (currently into landfills) by means of reducing it at source (e.g. home-composting), separate collection at large producers and households and recycling by applying composting, anaerobic digestion and pretreatment with MBT (mechanic-biological treatment) technologies. Specifically, the PGIRS foresees the realization of composting/AD/MBT plants for a total treatment capacity of about 4.700 tons/day or 1,7 million tons/year. Sao Paulo needs strategic guidance on how to achieve those goals, so the aims of the strategic guidance are to develop:
 a strategy for organic waste diversion including collection, treatment and recycling and their challenges and opportunities for Sao Paulo, namely this document;
 a technical guidance on the operation of organic waste treatment plants taking into consideration the existing legal framework. This deliverable constitutes another document.
Data quoted in this paper are from the PDF version of the PGIRS and the Executive Summary of it (hard-copy) dated 2014. Existing Brazilian legislations and technical norms are described according to the existing status as at the end of January 2016.