A new world in the brazilian bairros of the Olympic Games
More than 200,000 Brazilians are involved in Enel's domestic waste recycling programmes, which grant electricity bill discounts as well as the replacement of old fridges. They protect the environment while providing savings.
The curtain is about to lift on the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the first ever held in South America. Beneath the Cristo Corcovado, amidst the Copacabana beaches and the stands of the legendary Maracanã stadium, on August 5th the whole world will be there: 206 participating countries, more than 10,000 athletes involved in 306 competitions covering 42 disciplines.
While awaiting the feats and victories of the Olympic athletes, the bairros of Rio de Janeiro and Fortaleza tell stories of a "new world", as the slogan of these green-gold Games states, stories of sharing, environmental protection and sustainability.
The central characters are the more than 200,000 inhabitants of the two Brazilian cities, in particular low-income households, involved in popular initiatives promoted by Ampla and Coelce, Enel's Brazilian subsidiaries, which supply electricity to three million consumers in the State of Rio and 3.7 million in that of Ceará.
When waste produces energy
Every day, in the 159 collection points located throughout the bairros of Rio and Ceará and the over 30 mobile centres that rotate the city quarters and municipalities, people of all social extractions bring their waste already sorted into different types to the Ecoelce and Ecoampla programme operators.
Glass, metal, plastic, paper and liquids all have a different quotation, a sort of pricelist. Waste is weighed by our operators in order to assess its value, according to a preset price table: the total sum of what would be considered as simple waste is turned into a discount on one's electricity bill. The waste is taken to recycling points to be treated and, whenever possible, reused.
"In 2015 Ecoampla and Ecoelce enabled the recycling of 4,311 tonnes of domestic waste, subsequently turned into 858,150 Reais of discounts off electricity bills"
The exchange of "geladeiras"
The waste recycling project, launched in 2007, has received an award from the UN and features among Brazil's 25 top innovations over the last decade. But it's not the only example of what can be done combining creativity, sharing and environmental care.
"In Brazil we have 21 ongoing projects that, based on the efficient use of energy, improve the conditions of life of more than 300,000 people"
In 63 of the poorest municipalities in Ceará State, thousands of households involved in Coelce's initiatives for the low-income population have been taking part in the Troca eficiente (efficient exchange) programme over the last decade.
It's a simple idea: old and often malfunctioning electric household appliances are replaced by new and efficient ones. The exchange is free, people just have to turn up with their last paid-up electricity bill and their old "geladeira".
In 2015 we replaced 14,604 obsolete fridges and also introduced the collection of used light bulbs and household lamps.
Troca eficiente brings notable benefits for all: food is kept better, electricity consumption and hence electricity bills decrease, together with the risk of oil and gas leaks from old fridges inside the home, that are instead adequately dealt with, thus avoiding further environmental pollution.
The "new world" announced by the slogan of the coming Games is already upon us. Far from the Maracanã and the limelight of the Olympics, the over 200,000 Brazilians participating in the social projects promoted by Ampla and Coelce have already started to make it reality.