Waste diversion from landfill
The Focus City Research Initiative (FCRI) project focused on waste management practices in the city of Cochabamba, and on improving the lives and work of informal recyclers based at the Kjara Kjara landfill. Five recycling plants were designed to enable informal recyclers to collect diverted materials closer to the site of disposal, thereby reducing their need to sort through a mixed waste stream at the landfill. Observations of the project outcomes at the time of final reporting included increased waste diversion rates, higher earnings for informal recyclers, and greater social inclusion of informal recyclers with respect to relationships with fellow workers and residents of their working areas. Another waste management initiative in the city involved the creation of compost from organic wastes created by local businesses, and the transfer of logistic and financial responsibility for such processes to the business themselves. There was some uptake for this project by local cemeteries, one of which had purchased a milling machine to help reduce the volume of compost produced by their extensive landscaping practices. Livelihood outcomes include improved resource assets for the extended community (i.e. improved environmental services in the form of access to recycling in the neighborhoods where the plants are located, as well as reduced amounts of waste being sent for final disposal in landfill), improved financial assets for informal recyclers, and improved social assets for informal recyclers in the form of greater social inclusion.