Due to environmental, social and economic reasons, the recycling of solid waste is an expanding activity in Brazil. According to the Business Commitment to Recycling (CEMPRE), compared to other countries, the Country presents high levels of recycling, and has potential to develop even more in this area.
Currently, a portion of the Brazilian population is served by municipal waste selective collection services and waste picker cooperatives are active in take part of these programs. It is important to stress, though, that the majority of the recyclable materials that are not collected by the official system is channeled to the industry through the labor of waste picker collectors, wastepaper wholesalers and brokers.
Recycling is a process that begins with the separation of solid waste by the population, and then involves the collection, sorting and preparation of the material collected, which, finally, is sent to the industry to be transformed into raw material again.