Public-private alliance will implement a citizen participation project to find a solution to the microdumps in Renca

After an open meeting that resulted in 6 teams, a specialized panel chose the solution that best suited the need to intervene in a hundred small illegal dumps found in the municipality.

The Renca Microdump Challenge arose as part of a public-private effort promoted by the Municipality of Renca, through the Territorial Round Table of Companies in the Pepper-Lo Ruiz macrozone, in which 12 companies in the zone, the La Fábrica de Renca Association and the Do! Smart City Foundation participated.

“Of the 142 points identified as microdumps and illegal dumps in the Municipality, each year an average of 26,500 tons of waste are removed by the Municipality at an annual average cost of CLP$550 million. The persistent problem of microdumps and dumps in the Municipality has become an institutional issue that has required efforts and coordination among several offices of the Municipality in order to be able to address it,” said Claudio Castro, Mayor of Renca.

The contest, in which close to 50 ideas were received from local inhabitants, students and entrepreneurs in the Regions of Arica, Valparaíso, O’Higgins and Metropolitan, was intended to create a collaborative process to develop ideas to address the problem of microdumps in the municipality. 6 teams were set up on the basis of those ideas that participated in a 10-hour symposium at the Renca Innovation Center, accompanied by mentors and experts, to explore the problem, improve the idea and prepare the pitch to a prominent panel that included Gloria Moya, Director of the Metropolitan Region Office of the Production Development Association (abbreviated as CORFO in Spanish), Mauricio Fabry, Environmental Coordinator of the Metropolitan Regional Administration (abbreviated as GORE in Spanish),  and Macarena Olivares, Director of the Office of the Environment, Garbage Collection and Ornamentation (abbreviated as DIMAO in Spanish), of the Municipality of Renca.

The winning idea, called Re-recupera, proposes creating a channel to facilitate receiving electronic devices and household appliances from inhabitants in the municipality of Renca so that these objects do not end up in microdumps or illegal dumps.

The winning team, comprised of Gabriela Poblete, Yessenia Soto and Julio Zuñiga, will receive CLP$5,000,000 to develop and create a pilot project of their idea with users in the municipality. The municipality and Corporación La Fábrica will accompany the team in the iterative process of developing their proposal and starting up the pilot project.

Innova UTEM, Inacap, Aceros AZA and VíasChile collaborated with this initiative since it is a good opportunity to implement medium- and long-term strategies different from those already developed, in the goal of overcoming this problem once and for all by means of a multi-dimensional, integral and sustainable solution.

María Pia Tejos, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Manager of the ViasChile Group, said: “We are proud to have been a part of this initiative. We support projects that look for sustainable and innovative solutions in order to contribute to preventing and reducing microdumps in the municipality of Renca and the country. In addition to actively listening, this public-private alliance has been key to progressing in materializing the Microdump Challenge that arose from active participation on the territorial environmental task force. As Renca inhabitants, this is an instance that unites us and enables us to work together on potential long-term solutions to eradicate focal points of microdumps that affect the wellbeing of residents in the municipality. Congratulations to all the teams that participated and many thanks to each of those who are committed to making cities sustainable.”

Along these same lines, Paola Grandela, Sustainability Manager of Aceros AZA, added that “it is a pleasure to be a part of an initiative that aims to improve our spaces and transform the quality of life of hundreds of families.  In addition to being one more inhabitant of this community, we are a company that produces steel from recycling, so being here makes perfect sense to us. We are also committed to being an active agent of change in the problems affecting the sector’s inhabitants by helping to reduce other risk factors.  There can be no doubt that a cleaner municipality is a safer municipality.”

As with other places in Chile, Renca has had to deal with microdumps and illegal dumps in its territory that directly affect the quality of life of the community and ecosystems. Despite efforts by City Hall, a large number of unauthorized vehicles have been seen to take advantage of the connectivity offered by the urban highways surrounding Renca to dump waste in vacant lots or directly onto public property.