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Circular Economy Programne - PREVEC / "Green Jobs" - increase waste recycling rate (SDG 12)

Project details
Waste Management
Project volume: 
2,121,800 €
Value of services: 
2,121,800 €
Start of project: 
August, 2020
End of project: 
February, 2023
Project description: 

In the context of continuous economic growth over the last decade, progressive poverty reduction and increasing mass consumption, the amount of waste in Colombia has grown steadily. Accordingly, the government has developed a series of strategies focused on environmentally sound management of solid waste, promoting its reuse and recycling.

Taking into account the orientation of the current development plan (2018 - 2020) towards ecological economic growth, the transition from a policy focused mainly on solid waste management towards a circular economy has begun. Specifically, an increase in the recycling rate was included in the planning of the national sustainability programme for the SDG 12 (increase from 8.6% in 2018, to 17.9% in 2030).

Considering that the approximately 47,000 recyclable material collectors in the Colombian territory carry out, to a large extent, the collection and segregation of potentially recyclable waste, the national Government has issued a series of regulations as part of a formalisation strategy for recyclers in different aspects, especially towards the generation of formal and regular employment (PE: Decree 596 of 2016). However, due to the lack of incentives provided by the tariff system, unresolved questions regarding integration into the social security system and an insufficiently designed accompanying process, formalisation is developing very slowly.

In addition, a regulation on extended producer responsibility for packaging waste came into force in 2018 and will now be applied progressively by meeting minimum annual collection and management goals.


Service description: 

Output 1: The conditions have been created to increase the recycling / use of specific waste in the urban areas that are being supported.


  • In Bogotá, Cúcuta and two other cities (Villavicencio, Florencia or another) there is data on the materials, quantities and waste streams, as well as an analysis of the potential for their recycling/use.
  • In Bogotá and Cúcuta, the administration and the private sector have begun to apply local and comprehensive strategies for the circular economy that include awareness raising among consumers and companies.
  • Within the framework of the waste monitoring system, introduced with the aid of digital instruments, the municipal and district administrations of Bogotá and Cúcuta report every six months on the waste management routes and their recycling (type and quantity).
  • In municipal or district administrations, a total of 10 accompanying measures have been established (5 of them in Cúcuta) to support the process of formalizing waste pickers, with two measures that specifically address the needs of waste pickers.
  • A total of 5 business models have been identified (2 in Bogotá, 3 in Cúcuta) for specific waste recycling, in cooperation with the private sector.

In output 1, the GOPA Infra team is responsible for achieving the indicators in Cúcuta and for data collection in the four participating cities: Bogotá, Cúcuta and two other cities that will be defined by GIZ (although it is expected that these will be the cities of Villavicencio and Florence).

Output 2: The strategic and regulatory framework has been created at the national level for the actors responsible for the implementation of the circular economy strategy.


  • A proposal for a national waste catalog has been agreed between the public and private sectors and civil society.
  • The Ministry of Housing, City and Territory has a manual for the standardization of data collection and analysis processes on waste, including greenhouse gas emissions in the waste sector, validated at the national level.

Output 3: The range of training and qualification measures for the circular economy / recycling economy has improved.


  • A pilot is carried out in Cúcuta for 2 training and qualification programs that support the implementation of the circular economy strategy, for waste pickers and their associations respectively (for example, related to formalization, management of companies, etc.).
  • Two training programs have been carried out to support the implementation of the circular economy strategy, one for municipal and district administrations and the other for the private sector (for example, on formalization, green business initiative, comprehensive management

The programme aims to support the effectiveness of the circular economy strategy in selected urban areas, optimising various conditions for its application, as well as improving recycling in these areas within the framework of the circular economy strategy.

The GOPA Infra team contributes to achieving the objective of the module "In certain urban areas, waste recycling is improved within the framework of circular economy strategies" and of all the indicators of the objective of the module:

  • Indicator for module 1: The recycling rate has increased in the participating urban areas, 10% in Bogotá and 15% in Cúcuta.
  • Indicator for module 2: A total of 1,500 (at least 30% women) who previously worked informally as recyclable material collectors in Bogotá and Cúcuta, are formally included in the recycling processes within the framework of the circular economy.
  • Indicator for module 3: Private companies invest in a total of 4 business models for the recycling of certain waste materials in Bogotá and Cúcuta.