Title Project Type Project Phase Location Project Duration
AMAFLORES PROJECT Socio-Environmental Project
 Doing Florestal - Minas Gerais - Brazil 3 years
Project Support Associação Astriflores, Federal University of Viçosa (UVF), Municipal Council of Florestal – Minas Gerais (MG), City Hall of Florestal.



Project Tutors

Lizandra Barbuto; Mariana Mayumi

Project Image AMAFlores
Project Description

In March 3, 2008, the Handlers Association of Florestal Wastes (Associação Astriflores) was founded in order to enable the screening and sorting of garbage waste collected in the urban area of Florestal / MG. From this early work, the Associação Astriflores has emerged from these pioneering efforts by its community members, with good links with the City Hall and the CRAS.  It has now come to the understanding that such efforts require a social and environmental solution because only then it could ensure proper disposal of the city´s household solid waste and generate employment for its members.

Since then the project has made an attempt to selectively sort waste collection in the city, as it would be ideal to separate the collection of recyclable and non-recyclable materials. Both types of waste are directed to the Associação Astriflores, that then separates and directs the waste in a proper direction.  This project is to help Associação Astriflores in the context of its work for the selective collection of garbage in the city of Florestral / MG. Since the project began it has started to develop collaborative actions to improve community engagement in the separation of household waste and to stimulate the engagement of members of Associação Astriflores in managing the selective collection and sorting of waste. Thus, to this end we have held several meetings within Associação Astriflores, at City Hall and on the campus of UFV for planning and discussing possible action, always seeking to involve people from the University, the city government, community and the Associação Astriflores in all aspects. A collaborative planning process, using the Dragon Dreaming methology, has designed a series of actions that are now being conducted in the selective collection of waste in the city of Florestal.

The project focuses on two dimensions:
1- The Internal dimension of  the Associação: joint work with a group of twelve members and the Municipality, for the employees directly involved.
2- The External or Contextual dimension of the Associação: planning a series of information sessions and mobilizing to increase the level of community awareness of the selective waste collection process.

The ultimate goal of the project is to generate collective learning among staff, of those involved in the association and in the Florestal community in general, so promoting the improvement of the system of selective collection; the sorting of solid waste and the improvement of waste treatment and environmental preservation. We believe that transformative experiences are already happening and that there will be as a result an improvement in the living conditions of members of Associação Astriflores.

We started the project with diagnostic work and internal meetings in the Associação Astriflores. All steps were planned and carried out collaboratively. Apart from intervention in the internal dynamics of the association, there is now a connection to the people dwelling in Florestal, and we are seeking to better understand their reality and their level of information. From this analysis we have started planning a series of mobilizing actions for environmental awareness, so as to improve the separation of household wastes that are appropriate to the context of Florestal, and for the improvement of the working conditions in Associação Astriflores.  This will be civic education within the community, providing lasting benefits for the region.

The implementation of such selective waste collection is a gradual and continuous process, which can be divided into three main stages. The first stage is to conduct information campaigns to raise awareness among the population. It is here necessary to raise awareness about the importance of recycling and guide the population on how to separate their garbage properly. The second step is to draw up a collection plan, setting equipment, vehicles, areas and the frequency of waste collection. Finally, it requires the installation of sorting units (by Associação Astriflores) for the cleaning and separation of waste and packing of the material to be recycled for sale.

In fulfilling these three steps, it is important to highlight that the selective collection of waste is an ongoing process that requires permanent mobilization of the population through ongoing awareness and environmental education campaigns. The idea is that people build new habits and, from this behaviour, can reflect on their relationship both with the environment and in their consumption practices, an experience of ongoing reflection and improvement in their daily choices.

General Purpose:

To improve the functioning Associação Astriflores and its waste collection bins in Florestal / MG, through generating higher incomes for its members, whilst lowering environmental impacts with garbage and increasing environmental awareness in the community.

Specific Objectives:
– To continue the appreciation by the community of our intervention work in Associação Astriflores, building on the strengths of the organization, and have them widely recognized by all;
– To continue to intervene in the internal dynamics of Associação Astriflores through using collaborative management methodologies;
– To monitor the implementation of collaborative strategic planning processes by the association;
– To conduct evaluation meetings and activities for the celebration of Associação Astriflores;
– To continue the implementation of the planned actions for dissemination of selective wase collection;
– To conduct evaluation meetings and celebration of outreach activities;
– To conduct studies and discussions on the Dragon Dreaming methodology, together with other methods of collaborative management and on solid waste management.

Expected social impact:

Since the beginning of this project, in February 2014, we can say that we are generating positive effects for all parties involved: members of Associação Astriflores, City Hall employees, the Florestal community and the PIBEX team from the Federal University of Viçosa. Our idea is to continue our efforts until 2015 to further expand the exploration of these positive impacts.

Through our joint efforts, and through joint efforts with its members we are helping to make the workplace of Associação Astriflores have better living conditions. From our visits and meetings with Astriflores, we note that their current situation lacks attention to the dynamics of their work, and to their working conditions.  These are ways in which we can contribute technically. In addition, we know that there is a large amount of waste that can not be screened and recycled due to improper separation performed by the population. The association cannot recycle 40-50% of the dry waste it receives, which causes financial difficulties and health problems for members. At this point, the work is to raise the awareness of these community based actions, creating the possibility of increasing the financial turnover for the group.

We hope that the community of Florestal / MG becomes more aware of the importance of selective waste collection, in solidarity and taking more care of the specific and general environment. The change in attitude is being encouraged through well planned and well articulated campaigns to disseminate information about the correct way to separate and store the waste.

Need Support

For this project we would welcome ideas and experiences in the context of treatment and waste collection.

Provide Support

We can provide mutual support and knowledge in the exchange of our experience.