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Organization type: 
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.

Gonzalo is reinventing the garbage industry in Chile by helping society and customers see that 90 percent of garbage is really valuable raw material which can be recycled and re-used. TriCiclos installs Clean Collection Points run by the local community, which are modular plants capable of recycling domestic solid waste. By sharing the financial rewards of recycling, it is slowly replacing the current waste management system. Gonzalo’s goal is to create a future where awareness of the environmental profit of recycling is part of every-day life.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Government action in waste management has been wholly inadequate. While it has set certain goals, such as to recycle 25 percent of all waste in the metropolitan region by 2020, these goals are meager fractions of what needs to be accomplished, and still far from the reality set by simple economical conditions (only 15 percent of the materials can pay their logistic and create economic profits). And while there are campaigns in Chile that promote recycling, they are always temporary and fail to communicate key information like the fact that 90 percent of domestic waste is recyclable. Further, they fail to focus on educating the public on reusing waste, which can be turned into a resource and reincorporated into the value chain, as a fundamental step to communicating the importance and value of recycling. And for those who do make the effort to recycle, the lack of reliable information from government about the recycling process fails to ensure them that their effort is not in vain.

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

Gonzalo’s innovation focuses on changing society’s current consumption habits and the inefficiency of the waste-processing system currently in place with a three-pronged approach. Gonzalo is making it easier for the public to start recycling by creating a series of convenient Clean Collection Points in which both businesses and ordinary people can drop off their garbage at the same time they learn about sustainable habits and check how materials are then separated into major recycling categories by the staff of TriCiclos. Gonzalo incentivizes companies to foot the bill for these Clean Collection Points by sharing a percentage of the profit that the resultant recycled materials garner as they are sold to other companies that buy such materials. Thus, the more that is recycled at each respective station, the more the contracting company receives, and Gonzalo is able to enlist these companies as partners in major education campaigns, which inform the public of the importance of recycling (bringing more recyclers to the station). The combination of this consciousness-raising and the provision of such an accessible recycling service effectively works to close the gap between merely understanding the problem and taking action. Next, Gonzalo created TriCiclos as a social business to focus on changing the practices linked to consumption and the management of waste more generally. A strong emphasis is placed on making recycling an easy-to-adopt practice that is accessible to busines
Impact: How does it Work

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

Since founding TriCiclos in 2009, Gonzalo has worked to change the industry of recycling management by carefully choosing partners from government, educational institutions, and business, and generating incentives and strategies tailored to each of them individually, thus transforming each into changemakers who can in turn help promote and spread his vision. Through TriCiclos, Gonzalo designed recycling and recovery stations called Clean Collection Points, which are modular plants capable of recycling 90 percent of domestic solid waste. The Clean Collection Points are stations created from recycled shipping containers specially adapted for this use and developed with an attractive, eye-catching design. The physical structures are sold to malls, universities, and other kinds of highly visited institutions, and are placed in highly visible areas to attract public attention. TriCiclos signs a contract through which it offers its services and management of the Clean Collection Points, collecting, processing, and transforming waste and reintroducing it into the production chain. In order to entice businesses and institutions to embrace the role of co-designer of a new sustainability culture, TriCiclos shares a certain percentage of the profit from the sale of recycled materials with them, as a credit toward the initial cost of purchase and on-going maintenance. The result is the more these institutions recycle, the more they earn. Further, the more they get the public to also use these facilities, through awareness-raising campaigns, for example, the more they earn. Lastly, beyond this immediate financial reward, the institutions benefit from a newly acquired reputation for being “green” and “sustainable.”