The culture of consumption has led to the increase of how much garbage is being produced and dumped in our landfills. There are several cities that have been creative in solving this problem, one them leading as an example has been the city of Curitiba. This city is well know for its bus-transit system, but some of the most remarkable sustainability measure have come through waste management programs. The success of these programs has come from providing the community incentives to recycle. Officials have offered bus passes in exchange for bags of waste, and also given residents free local produce in exchange for recyclable materials.
Nearer the city center, the city authorities encourage the recycling of buildings rather than demolition and reconstruction, helping the city to retain its architectural heritage. Children can recycle waste in exchange for school supplies, toys and tickets for shows. It is estimated that recycling materials in the city saves the equivalent of 1,200 trees a day and the money raised from the recycling schemes goes into social programs such as the employment of homeless people in the recycling separation plants. An Open University, created by the city, lets residents take courses in many subjects such as mechanics, hair styling and environmental protection for a small fee.
These characteristics that make up the city of Curitiba have shown how innovative solutions can be made simple with the support of official actors. In the article Transdisciplinary research in sustainability science: Practice, principles, and challenges, they show a chart of the research process to obtain solutions. Although a very simple chart, it does give insight on how several different actors need to come together to make anything function successfully.
Video of Curitiba: