The City of Curitiba Cashes Your Waste For Surplus Food

We're widely aware of Curitiba's great public transit system, pedestrian streets, and Jaime Lerner's innovations in the city, but this one had slipped our sights.

This video from shows how the city allows people to recover and exchange waste for food, in their Green Exchange program.The program began in 1991, when a surplus of vegetables production made it difficult for farmers to sell their product.

To face that situation in a cheap and creative way, the city decided to start acquiring the surplus of production from then on to make it available to families with low income.

Later on, the city launched the Special Green Exchange, which encourages schools to separate recyclable waste to exchange it for notebooks and other student materials.

According to, by 2007 the program had already recovered over 45 thousand tons of waste from ending up in landfills.

It's a win-win situation: surplus food doesn't get wasted, materials don't end up in landfills, people eat vegetables and healthy food. Curitiba is really the green capital of Brazil.

More on Curitiba:
Curitiba: City with a Soul
Curitiba's Bus Rapid Transit: 2.3 Million Passengers a Day
Jaime Lerner: Innovation is Just Starting Something New

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