Ergonomics and Technologies in Waste Sorting: Usage and Appropriation in a Recyclable Waste Collectors Cooperative

  • Renato Luvizoto Rodrigues de SouzaEmail author
  • João Alberto Camarotto
  • Andréa Regina Martins Fontes
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 825)


Waste collection and sorting are important stages for the municipal waste management. Since the 90´s in Brazil, due to the gap left by public power and structural unemployment, activities in the collection, sorting and commercialization of recycled materials had been done by collectors´ cooperatives. However, authors point that these organizations present a limited productivity, due to lack of technological infrastructure (facilities, equipment and adequate process) and also due to the poor working conditions. In this context, this paper aims to discuss technology and work, comparing the usage and appropriation of technologies in a recyclable waste collectors’ cooperative. The research was carried out qualitatively, as a case study, following the approach delineated by French-speaking ergonomics theories. Three situations were selected for data collection: spaces usage and materials flow in the facility; tools use in the activities carried out; and use of adapted mover equipment and containers. Data collection comprised interviews with the cooperative president and two sorting operators, free and systematic observation of operators’ work and pictures taking. Results show that facilities, equipment and materials’ movers were mostly donated from other organizations to the cooperative. Therefore, we see that the cooperative operates in a location where the facilities, equipment and machinery are not aligned with the type, amount and variability of the waste that the organization needs to sort to achieve its economic goals. To overcome this situation and actually fulfill its job, the cooperative develops different uses of spaces and technology, which sometimes happens at the cost of workers health, safety and well-being.


Recycling cooperatives Technologies Waste sorting 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Renato Luvizoto Rodrigues de Souza
    • 1
    Email author
  • João Alberto Camarotto
    • 1
  • Andréa Regina Martins Fontes
    • 2
  1. 1.Departament of Production EngineeringFederal University of São CarlosSão CarlosBrazil
  2. 2.Departament of Production EngineeringFederal University of São CarlosSorocabaBrazil

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