In partnership with the MIT-Brazil Program, Humanitas360 brings a student to develop an application that enhances the impact of waste collection
When you live in a city like San Pablo, people care about their business, traffic, run errands and go to school and do not notice the presence of other important members of society: tasters. It is the term given to individuals who collect recyclable waste to raise money – which is sometimes their only income.
The tasters are usually homeless, who suffer the prejudice and neglect of government and society. However, they play a crucial role in the process of collecting recyclable materials. According to Mundano, the graffiti artist and founder of Pimp My Carroça, tasters collect 90% of all materials that are recycled in Brazil.
10 years ago, while capturing his art in the streets of San Pablo, Mundano had the idea of painting a car of a taster. The effect was immediate: the taster was proud of his work and realized that it was attracting attention. This marked the beginning of a movement known as Pimp My Carroça (carroça means car in Portuguese).
With the help of hundreds of volunteers, Mundano was able to take his project to different cities in Brazil and to more than 20 countries. Recently, the team felt the need to create a tool that could connect all tasters – people want to recycle more but lack the necessary information on how to do it. Here the idea of creating an application originated.
In association with Humanitas360 and the MIT-Brazil Program, Katrine Tjolsen, a student at MIT, came to Brazil to collaborate with the development of the application. The MIT program seeks to give students the opportunity to travel abroad to improve their skills and gain experience.
Humanitas360 continues to work with Pimp My Carroça and continues to seek opportunities to connect more MIT students with projects in Brazil and in the region.