In San José, capital of environmental paradise Costa Rica, 1400 tons of garbage are being produced every single day.
30-40% of this amount does not end up in a landfill.

These figures represent two scenarios: on one hand, large quantities of garbage end up polluting the urban landscape. On the other hand, a large number of people are living from the manually collected, mostly reused and partially recycled garbage.

This research is looking into possibilities of increasing the quantities of reused or recycled material as well as providing organizational principles for the informal garbage collectors for self organization, to create a business and to make a living from other people's waste; it informs public and private entities about the possibilities of recycling as well as some of our own projects such as Re-Creo or the Recycling and Community Center on Chira Island.

The redefinition of valuable urban areas that have become unusable in the process of urbanization through domestic or industrial pollution is discussed in projects such as El Pochote or Trama Verde.


A Foundation (Oliver Schütte and Marije van Lidth de Jeude with project specific support)

Location: Costa Rica

Status: Ongoing

Year: 2004-present