Santiago is increasing the rate of recycling by building local centers that benefit the local environment and entrepreneurship.

The City of Santiago is making it easier for citizens to recycle by implementing so-called “clean points” where waste can be sorted in order to be reused. A network of points will be built to increase the recycling rate. New equipment and training of personnel will also be used to classify, transport, and eliminate illegal waste disposal in public spaces. An important aspect of the project is the inclusion of “Base Recyclers” (one-man recycling companies) in the waste network, as their income will increase with more efficient waste collection.

36,000 tons of waste diverted from landfills is the goal of the project

Cities100 – 2017

The project will create 20 new clean points in 16 municipalities that integrate the pre-treatment processing of waste, facilitating the transport and trade onto processing companies. Existing local recycling initiatives will be strengthened by the local centers, and the project aims to improve economic, social, and environmental measures related to solid waste management. Local governments are free to adapt the approach, so it responds to local market demands, making it an adaptive, flexible waste management system.

The challenge

A lack of adequate infrastructure and cultural norms have limited Santiago to a 10% recycling rate, according a local survey. The majority of waste ends up in landfills, negatively impacting the lives of mainly low-income communities.


Economic Reimagining waste as a resource instead of “garbage” makes possible revenue generation from the sale of recovered and/or recycled waste.

Environmental Local recovery of waste reduces emissions by avoiding longer collection and transportation trips, as well as reduced methane emissions from organic decomposition in landfills.

Social Collaboration between the “Base Recyclers” and the municipality will improve social entrepreneurship, enabling continued socio-economic improvement for the working class and creation of new business opportunities.

About Santiago

Santiago de Chile is the capital and largest city of Chile as well as one of the largest cities in the Americas. It is the center of Chile’s largest and the most densely populated conurbation. The city is entirely located in the country’s central valley, at an elevation of 520 m (1,706 ft) above mean sea level. Santiago is the cultural, political and financial center of Chile and is home to the regional headquarters of many multinational corporations.

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