Many of Brazil’s companies are throwing their money in the trash, or, perhaps, they are not spending enough money on recycling it. The country’s threadbare recycling policies lead to a massive margin of underperformance and cause severe impacts on the environment. While markets are salivating over the prospect of opening up the country’s struggling sanitation services to the public sector, the real money could be lying in solid waste disposal and treatment.
In ten years, Brazil has increased its generation of garbage by 13 percent, going from 70 million tons in 2011 to 79 million last year. This growth—of almost one ton a year—is in stark contrast to the progress in public policies to combat waste and pollution.