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  • Writer's pictureIsadora Raddatz Tonetto

The correct disposal of solid waste relies on our collaboration

Author: Isadora Raddatz Tonetto

Translated by: Henrique de Jesus dos Santos

Every year, environmental disasters become more recurrent, damages caused by pollution and the unsustainability of production and consumption systems are rapidly spread, mitigating actions are always used, however, the implementation of preventive measures is essential to ensure that such cycles of recurrence of these disasters won't happen once more.

Sustainable production and consumption must be a commitment made by everyone. The engagement of civil society, public authorities and the business sector in achieving sustainable development is essential to guarantee the future of the next generations. Based on this premise, I will deal with a topic that is already well known, exploited commercially and by the media, but has yet to be adopted by the majority of the population: the correct disposal of waste.

Waste treatment was instituted by the National Solid Waste Policy in 2010, which was only regulated in 2022. The policy establishes guidelines for the integrated administration and management of solid waste, prioritizing the zero generation of solid waste, followed by its reduction, reuse, recycling, correct treatment, and lastly the environmentally appropriate disposal of waste.

Following an overview outlined by ABRELPE (an association aimed at creating, expanding, developing, and strengthening the waste management market), in 2022 each Brazilian produced an average of 1.043 kg of waste per day, which corresponds to 224,000 tonnes per day, generating a total of approximately 81.8 million tonnes per year. Moreover, according to this data, most of the waste collected (61%) continues to be sent to landfills without any kind of separation/treatment, including a total of 29.7 million tonnes with inadequate disposal.

In major cities, such a policy is in place, there is guidance on the correct disposal of solid waste, and even more so, there is the construction of a sustainable culture, with the support of selective collections and recycling processes that guarantee such action. This is different from small towns, where these steps are not performed, but instead, the waste is only created and discarded in public landfills or "dumps".

According to the new regulation of the policy already mentioned, Decree 10.936 of 12th January 2022, the bodies and entities of the federal public administration, direct and indirect, are responsible for the Citizen Selective Collection Programme, through which they must separate reusable and recyclable waste, and allocate reusable and recyclable waste, as a priority, to associations and cooperatives of recyclable material collectors, an important step forward for the issue.

Talking about the matter, developing educational actions aimed at making consumers aware of sustainable consumption and their responsibilities for proper disposal are all part of environmental education in solid waste management.

This text thus aims to appeal to society in general that the simple act of separating organic waste from recyclable waste will help to reduce the pollution caused by contaminated waste, furthermore, such an act enables income generation, social inclusion and promotes sustainability in its many dimensions.

Studies and research have already shown: the correct disposal of waste produced by society and companies has an impact on local reality and, consequently, on everyone's sustainability. To corroborate the process, it is also possible to adopt a home compost bin, transforming food scraps and peelings into fertiliser, ensuring that the process flows even more.

Therefore, fostering new dynamics and guiding the necessary investments is the role of public authorities, but participating in preventive policies and demanding that these actions be carried out is the responsibility of each and every one of us. Get involved in this cause and separate your waste. Implementing strategies for this purpose is easy to implement and will bring results to the whole community.


ABRELPE. Panorama of Solid Waste in Brazil 2022. Available on: Access on: 20th sept. 2023.

BRAZIL. Decree Law 11.043, of 13th April 2022. Approves the National Solid Waste Plan. Brasília, DF: Presidency of the Republic, 2009. Available on: Access on: 20th sept. 2023.

BRAZIL. Law 12.305, of 2nd August 2010. Establishes the National Solid Waste Policy; amends Law No. 9.605, of 12th February 1998; and makes other provisions. Brasília, DF: Presidency of the Republic, 2009. Available on: Access on: 20 sept. 2023.

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