Protrash helps the environment by recyclining the waste of the low-income communities. The target of this project are the women, so they collect the trash of their communities and bring the trash to Protrash. Then, Protrash gives the trash to the recycling companies. The women, in exchange of their work, receive money via an expense card. So, protrash helps with the goal 1: no poverty, goal 2: zero hunger, goal 11: sustainable cities and communities, and goal 13: climate action.
Miguel Angel Mora Blanco
EGADE Business School Tecnologico de Monterrey
The main innovation of Protrash is the participation of women from low-income communities in the improvement and changes of their community. To be making the trash into money, and cleaning the environment. First the women are responsible for collecting and storing the garbage. After a Protrash’s truck comes to collect the input and pay the women with an electronic purse in which you can only buy products of basic needs. To prevent money from being used for other purposes. After Protrash picks up the trash, it is sent to the recycling factories and receives money for it.
The inspiration for this project comes from the reality that thousands of Mexican families are living every day, if you go to the most marginalized areas of Mexico (and the world), you can see how l these people live. They are not only living in a very poor housing and almost nonexistent services. But also, in deplorable sanitary conditions. the people of PROTRASH, they saw that problem and they said how could we help the community to help itself. Involving them in the change. At the same time, they decided to involve women as they are one of the most important part of the community and they are often marginalized.
The social company Protrash is willing to be part of the change and improve the current situation of thousands of Mexicans in marginalized communities. Protrash collect trash in the communities and sell it to recycling industries, from every Kilo they sell 60% goes to the community, and 40% goes to Protrash as gross margin.
The short-term objective is to generate opportunities of income for people that live in low-income communities, collecting and recycling their trash. The long-term objective is to revolution the way that people recycles. This will duplicate the income of 1 million persons in approximately five years.
Protrash is already working with two communities in Jalisco: Valle del Sol, Tonalá and Miramar, Zapopan. Similar patterns are presented, but no community is the same. For them it has been a complicated job, but nothing is impossible. They’ve been working every Saturday with the people, from explaining how to separate and recycle garbage, to how to remove labels, cover and bring clean materials. Since the beginning of 2017 when operations began, they have collected an approximate of 5 tons of recyclable material and achieved a range of 800 families per community.
Because the business decided to start working with low-income communities, we decided to start by getting in touch with the community leaders. Once established this relation, we started by educating the community and letting them know who we were, and what we were aiming to do.
We are still looking to increase investment to make this a scalable business. We enter a couple of contests and opened an Indiegogo funding. We decided to take an investment of around $126,000 USD to start the business and initiate with the first Protrash center in Tonalá, Jalisco, Mexico. We hired people that shared our vision. Part of our organizational culture is to make all employees embrace the fact that we are working to help our communities. To scale this solution that could help with a global issue like trash.
There is a bottleneck of 24B market opportunity we would like to start with the largest city in Mexico and scale this sustainable business worldwide, in the long term, so we can fight a problem that is all around the world. Because of the structure of our business with logistics, technology and community engagement we were able to adapt our business to the communities since they were lacking the infrastructure that the original idea of the business was.
The benefit for the society comes specially with our goal of empower women to get an additional income that would help to cover their basic needs and the environmental benefit with cleaner streets and healthier communities
Protrash empowers women to recycle and start earning money. A recycling culture in the communities is created, so people will sort their waste from their home. They incentivize women to recycle and make them see that their recyclable waste has a value which can make a difference in their household. They exchange their recyclable waste for financial incentives. With this business model, they optimize the informal garbage picking system inside the communities and we convert it into a formal system.
There are several benefits from this innovation:
- Women - Women are empowered to recycle so they will start earning money, which they didn't have before and use it to cover more basic necessities.
- Families - Families will have now the possibility of having access to more basic necessities because women are bringing that money to their household.
- “Chatarrero” - This person already has a dump station and buys garbage from people in the community; as being part of Protrash we are able to double his income since we optimize his processes within his business and also help him to receive more quantity of volume than he received before.
- Recycling industries - This industry will not slow down it’s current earnings, this is because “Chatarrero” will have the capacity of selling more volume, so the recycling industries can process much more material and earn more money
Lily Mendonza Flores, Social Communications Manager
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Guadalajara, Jalisco, MX
Business Website: https://www.protrashco.com/
Year Founded: 3
Number of Employees: 2 to 10
Protrash is a social enterprise that empowers women in low-income communities, by exchanging their recyclable waste for money. Protrash collects the trash in the communities and sell it to recycling industries.