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This Friday, the 17th, in Barcarena, the first Forum of Urban Solid Waste and Environmental Education took place, with the objective of promoting reflection, the exchange of experiences and the connectivity of positive initiatives in the management of urban solid waste in the municipality. The opening theme of the event was “The interface between environmental education and integrated solid waste management” and the program included debates on successful initiatives in waste management and the integrated actions of the National Solid Waste Policy (PNRS) with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The action is a realization of the Sustentar Barcarena Program, a partnership between Alunorte, Albras and the Municipality of Barcarena, started in March 2018, to support the implementation of solid waste management in the municipality. The program provides for the social inclusion of recyclable material collectors; the use of environmental education as a structuring public policy and the implementation of a recyclable waste sorting unit. At the end of the Forum, there will be a plenary of participatory evaluation of the Program.

According to Luana Carvalhosa ( photo below ), Senior Manager of Social Programs at Hydro, the engagement of the population is essential to ensure the effective management of urban solid waste, public cleaning and a healthy life in Barcarena. “For this reason, Sustentar's actions involve public managers, community leaders, recyclable material collectors, local businesses, teaching and research institutions, companies and other interested parties. With this event, we hope to advance the awareness of the local population about the responsible disposal of waste, as well as contributing to a more viable society for all ”, he says.

Woman talking to a group of people

The director of Environmental Planning of the Municipality of Barcarena, Gilney Melo, adds that it is necessary to involve the residents of the municipality in public policies on solid waste management and environmental education. "In recent years, the need has grown to include the population and local companies in the debate on the destination of solid waste in Barcarena. At the Forum, we will have the opportunity to think about the issue in a broad and integrated way, with several agents involved", states.

PEA Sustentar, as the environmental education axis is called, has worked in the construction of educational environments for the engagement, awareness, training and instrumentalization of the various segments of the Barcarenense society. For this, educational spaces are created, such as conversation circles, community dialogues, film clubs, educational workshops, debate forums, training of multiplying agents, in addition to the production and distribution of educational materials, among other activities.

Five technical centers were formed with the participation of several social segments active in the municipality to debate the municipal management of solid waste. They are: Institutional (involves the secretariats and municipal councils); Teaching and Research (brings together educational institutions); Community (formed by leaders of local organizations); Recyclable material collectors and the fifth is the commercial collector that aggregates the representations of the sectors of industry, commerce and services.

Among the actions, diagnostic workshops have already been carried out after sample research in residences in urban, rural and island areas for participatory mapping of the current scenario of solid waste generation in the municipality. The Sustainable Game was also created as a pedagogical tool to stimulate reflection on the life cycle of products and the choices and responsibilities with the environment.

In the training area, the Program promoted training of multipliers in solid waste and environmental education for two classes of public agents and teachers, in addition to a class in distance education in progress. Through Cine Clube Sustentar, films and documentaries are shown followed by conversation circles in schools, related to topics such as the product life cycle, consumption habits, conscious consumption, socio-environmental impacts of generation, inadequate solid waste management and disposal end of the waste.

For Fidélis Paixão, Project Specialist at Draxos Consultoria e Gestão Ambiental, the Forum is a significant moment for the consolidation of the vision of the future built and agreed upon by the Program's partners. “We want to see Barcarena as a sustainable municipality, a pioneer and a reference in zero waste, based on a set of public policies implemented in a continuous and integrated way, providing for partnerships with the private sector, shared management and participation”, he says. The Forum is expected to become a permanent space on Barcarena's public agenda.

By the end of 2020, the installation of a recyclable waste sorting unit is planned. The engineering project foresees that the unit will have the capacity to process 40% of recyclable waste collected in the municipality, a sorting rate of 280 tons per month. The material will come from selective collection carried out by the City Hall.

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