In these “Healthy Cities” Trash = Jobs

Albina Ruiz turns trash into jobs in Peru… »

  • Albina Ruiz started worrying about health and environmental problems caused by garbage in Peru when she was a student studying industrial engineering. After writing her thesis, she came up with an idea for a new community-managed system of waste collection that she hoped would serve as a model for urban and rural communities around Peru. Ruiz’s idea called for micro-entrepreneurs — small business people chosen from the community — to take charge of collecting and processing the garbage, at once addressing another serious problem in the community: unemployment. She helped these businesses get going and set the monthly fee for the service at about $1.50, the cost of a beer, and came up with a wide array of creative marketing schemes — including special gift baskets — to entice families to use the services and, importantly, pay for them regularly and on time.
  • Ruiz started doing the work alone nearly 20 years ago. She now oversees projects in 20 cities across Peru, employs more than 150 people and serves over 3 million residents. Her approach to waste management is so successful that she has been asked to come up with a national plan for Peru, while other Latin American countries have expressed interest in emulating her method.

-Information from Ciudad Saludable website @:


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