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Former distance learning student in a field of Environmental Management creates kit to waste pickers

03/06/2016 18h12

The Social Environmental Project in Contagem, Brazil, is getting stronger working in partner along with the waste pickers supported by the initiative of Ricardo Vessoni, former distance learning student of Methodist University of São Paulo.

Graduated in 2015 at the Environmental Management Program, Ricardo have created a waste pickers kit which contains waste picker’s cart, uniform (t-shirt and pants), hat, sunscreen, repellent, raincoat, canvas, mask and thermos, besides the Holy Bible, because it is powered by a non-profit missionary organization called Youth With a Mission – Jovens com uma Missão (JOCUM).

During his undergraduate program at Methodist University, the importance of waste pickers for the environment paid his attention. “They are great defenders of healthy human life in the environment. They are workers seeking for a dignified job conditions”, he said, and list many benefits from their work: landfills cities have longer service life, municipalities save expenditures on conventional garbage collection, and the waste pickers achieve social integration and adequate working conditions. Most of them do not have safety equipment and work with borrowed carts to make some money.

Meanwhile, three waste pickers were benefit with the kit, which is made from donations. This kit costs around US$393 sponsored by volunteers, friends and churches.

The environmental awareness

Coordinator of the Terra Nova Environmental Project of JOCUM, also in Contagem, Minas Gerais, Ricardo Vessoni is also engaged in other actions such as the recovery of springs and waste management - within which is the enhancement of waste picker professional. The former distance-learning student of Methodist University of Sao Paulo is very conscious about environmental responsibility of each other: "We have to contribute to some benefits to the environment and in consequence of it, to the improvement of society's quality of life”, he said.


  • The non-generation, reduction, reuse and treatment of solid waste;
  • Final destination environmentally adequate of wastes;
  • Decreased use of natural resources (water and energy, for example) in new product production process;
  • Intensification of environmental education;
  • Increased recycling in the country;
  • Promoting social inclusion;
  • Employment and income generation for waste pickers, according to the National Plan for Solid Waste (Law 12,305 / 10).

“Therefore, the Terra Nova Environmental Project cannot be feed by itself. We depend of volunteers to work along with us and change the history either of a person or a community”, said hopefully.

The history of the Methodist University of Sao Paulo goes back more than 70 years, since the foundation in 1938 of the School of Theology of the Methodist Church in São Bernardo do Campo, one of the main centers of social, political and economic changes in the country. Combining the knowledge and integrated development of its teaching staff, in higher education, involvement in scientific studies and research activities, developed with more emphasis on graduate studies, and participation in extension projects whose initiatives are focused on the community, are encouraged.


The Methodist University Distance Learning has begun in 2006, with 36 units already in the whole country, offering undergraduate and postgraduate programs. Nowadays, there are more than a hundred units passing through the Government license to start. Our Distance Learning has become a very important and meaningful way to contribute to the development needs of Brazilian students, providing opportunities for skilled and qualified professionals in key development areas.


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