VILLAS RECICLADAS - Recycling Slums -

VILLAS RECICLADAS - Recycling Slums - : To recycle: to alter or adapt for new use without changing the essential form

Buenos Aires, ArgentinaBuenos Aires, Argentina
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Recycling project development into slums near large cities which have already initiated the separation and dispose of waste and recyclable resources. Aiming to create conscious in target population, create sense of belonging and contribute to environmental sustainability through waste management.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if in ten years from now every neighborhood in a Latin-American city could benefit from the non-presence of rubbish and disposable waste in their streets with the positive impacts that it entails (health, education, quality of life)?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Initially, the project is trying to address the large amounts of rubbish in slums by expanding the recycling process that has already been initiated in the adjoining cities. Delving into Recycling slums, it is trying to generate in target population a sense of belonging to their neighborhoods improving their quality of life with the responsibility and care that it creates.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Include these neighbourhoods to the recycling project by offering curbside residential pickup services and waste and disposals collection and transfer to a recycling centre.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

There is this woman named Susanne that works in the city helping a family with the daily cleaning. Every day she sees how the family sort the waste they generate cleaning the receipts of the products use for cooking and consuming. However, when she arrives to her home, she has a weird feeling about throwing away the rubbish they engender without even making a minimum effort trying to separate it. What was especially shocking to her was the difference between the city where she works and the humble city where she lives. While the first one is a clean and pleasant place to walk and be around, the second one has the streets full with waste.This was a regular thought in Susy’s head, until the day she saw the green containers around her house.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

The impact of Recycling slums can be divided in two main areas. The first one is the environmental impact as it recruit great part of the citizens which live near large cities into recycling process making it more effective. Developed cities are trending to separate as much useful waste as possible and the idea is to extend this movement to adjoining slums. The large amount of waste generated in these districts is significant enough to create the imperative for shifting to an environmentally sustainable path. The second area that tries to impact is on education. Changing the way low income groups deal waste they produce, create awareness of the importance of sorting waste and address lack of responsibility when taking care of their suburbs is vital. Recycling slums creates the opportunity to alter the general perception of outsiders in society.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

The main idea moving forward is to pick up one slum near Buenos Aires city (it has already been selected) and start the project of Recycling slums working jointly with the local government and NGO's that are already established in the suburb.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

The idea is to create a social enterprise. Separating the different elements found in waste streams is essential for enabling the recovery of useful materials, minimizing the amount of material sent to landfill and allowing recyclable materials to find a new and profitable incarnation. Our social company sort and recycle materials collected in slums in order to extract value of them.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Nowadays, there is a social and institutional vacuum that presents an opportunity to fill and work in it, which is the enormous amounts of waste that low income people live surrounded by.

Founding Story

While travelling by train to her next hockey match in several cities near BA, Manuela was able to see part of the inner suburbs that otherwise she could not see. In those trips she was stunned by kids playing in poor areas surrounded by waste and disposals. The second one, was the change of mind that she and her syblings suffer when moving to the city to study. As they were living in their apartment in BA they became use to sorting waste but when they went home on weekends as their town was left out of the recycling process, they were not able to do it as the final destiny of everything was the same landfill. These two main histories that blended to create the project.


The team is currently comprised by three members. Manuela Vilieri, the project founder. She is an young economist recently graduated from BA university that despite she is currently working on a full time job in a bank's treasury, she is willing to devote herself to develop the project as she is passionate about creating positive impact on vulnerable communities. Celina Quagliarello and Delfina Vilieri are a graphic designer and industrial engineer respectively that are keen to start working as full time on the project as both have recently quit their jobs. Additionally, Delfina has several contacts on local government in order to create the first approach.
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:

A close friend of mine sent me the link as she knew about Recycling Slums

Please confirm your role in the initiative (eg Founder/co-Founder) and your organisational title:

Founder - VILLAS RECICLADAS (Recycling Slums)

Which of the 8 UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) pre-selected for this competition does your solution relate most closely to? [select all that apply]

No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action.

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

The main project that I led together with my sisters was setting up a professional hockey field in our low resource club. That initiative changed completely the club potential not only in sporting terms but also as a place to give support to local families especially kids and Youngs. It included not only taking to local authorities, searching and putting together the clubs legal papers (which up to date it did not have), raising an unimagined amount of funds for the club long-established capacity and implementing the project.

Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?