Fortaleza: Utilizing Digital Tools to Transform Waste

Fortaleza has set about reshaping residents’ connection to waste. As part of the Recycling Attitudes Program, the city is engaging civil society with awareness campaigns, institutional partnerships, and active campaigns to change the way people produce and think about their waste. Teachers are trained in best recycling practices in order to educate students and arrange community litter-clearing activities. The program has already benefited more than 50% of municipal schools.

125,000 tons of CO2 equivalent will be saved by 2030 by achieving recycling and composting goals


Fortaleza is also formalizing the role of waste-pickers in society by offering short-term contracts to waste-pickers at municipally organized events and activities, keeping the city clean and offering an income stream for waste collection. Both strategies have been facilitated by the Fortaleza online system – a paperless, more efficient method of developing and approving all kinds of municipal strategies. Fortaleza aims to achieve 40% recycling and 20% composting rates by 2030 with the help of the new programs.

The challenge

Around 1% of the world’s population sustains themselves with informal waste-picking and recycling. Recognizing their rights while changing perceptions around waste is the aim of Fortaleza’s waste program.


Economic More than 200 waste-pickers directly benefited from temporary contracting at community events supported by Fortaleza.

Environmental Sports communities, such as canoeing or paddle boarding groups, engage in regular beach-cleaning campaigns involving between 50 and 300 people.

Social Recycling Attitudes has trained 1,000 teachers and 10,000 students in environmental topics and benefited 200 litter collectors.

  • Waste

  • Cities

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