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The works of the first Recyclable Materials Screening Unit in Barcarena (UT) are advanced in the city. For its operation, solid waste processing equipment has also been acquired, such as horizontal and vertical presses, sorting belts, power substation, forklifts, separating hopper, paper and glass crusher, in addition to a fire-fighting system . The equipment is being tested and inspected before being put into operation. The UT will have the capacity to process up to 280 tons of recyclable materials per month, from selective collection that will be implemented by the City of Barcarena.

The project is a commitment made by Alunorte to the Municipality of Barcarena and the local population of waste pickers. The investment is around R$ 30 million and includes the construction and acquisition of all the infrastructure necessary for the operation of the UT, as part of the agreements signed in the Term of Commitment (TC), signed between Hydro, Alunorte and the Government of Pará, in 2018. Upon completion of the works, the company will donate the infrastructure to the competent government, which will be responsible for managing and maintaining the sorting unit.

The expectation is that the materials processed at the UT meet the demand of recycling companies in the region and in the cities of Belém and Ananindeua, which concentrate the main recyclers. Data from the recycling industry indicate that around 3.5 thousand tons of paper and cardboard, 1.5 thousand tons of plastics, 1.1 thousand tons of aluminum (with a higher value in marketing) and 10 thousand tons are handled monthly. tons of iron, and the sale of plastic and aluminum by the scavengers is the one that guarantees the greatest income to workers.

“The sorting unit is an unprecedented initiative in the region, with a structural project and complete equipment, which responds to a priority demand in the territory. And it will serve more than 100 recyclable material collectors, who currently carry out their activities at the Bom Futuro garbage dump. The idea is to encourage them to have financial independence and take the lead in their trajectories. In this way, the Company encourages decent work for everyone, in line with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”, says Eduardo Figueiredo, Director of Territorial Development at Hydro.

The Barcarena UT will consist of a sorting shed with automated conveyors, pressing and material storage sheds, loading and unloading areas. There will also be an administrative area with a concierge, an office, changing rooms, a kitchen and cafeteria, meeting and training rooms, in addition to a space for cooperative members.

Waste management - Once the UT works, the expectation is that the collectors will triple their monthly income, in addition to social mobility to carry out their activities in a safe and healthy environment. The sorting unit is also one of the pillars of the Sustentar program, carried out by Hydro Alunorte, Albras and the Municipality of Barcarena, since 2018, in support of solid waste management in the municipality. The program also provides for the social inclusion of recyclable material collectors and the training of this group to operate the UT, in addition to the development of environmental education as a structuring public policy.

Sustentar is run with the support of partners such as Draxos, responsible for environmental education actions, and Tetra +, which works in the organization and training of waste pickers. According to Luana Carvalhosa, 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 program, we hope to advance in raising the awareness of the local population about the responsible disposal of waste, as well as contributing to a more viable society for all”, he emphasizes.

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