Recycling from the Source / Reciclaje desde la fuente


5. Gender Equality 6. Clean Water and Sanitation 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth 10. Reduced Inequalities 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities


Waste is used in the "Cockroach Farm" from which products such as pet pellets, fish food and food for high performance athletes can be produced. The approach is to separate the waste from the source, working as a base to help recyclers comply with decree 596 where recycling is delivered to recyclers, employment is formalized and their quality of life is improved. The cockroach farm is where they take advantage of organic waste for the feeding of cockroaches which are exported to China where there is a great market for this type of product and which is very profitable.


John Edwin Herrera

John Edwin Herrera

Yeison Sarmiento

Yeison Sarmiento


Universidad Externado de Colombia

Universidad Externado de Colombia


Gustavo A Yepes López

Gustavo A Yepes López


The approach is to separate the waste from the source, working with the recyclers to comply with decree 596 where recycling is delivered to the recyclers, employment is formalized and their quality of life is improved.

The vision of Tresciclaje focuses on corporate innovation and the use of digital tools. The process includes four phases. First, they go to the source that generates the waste such as restaurants, apartment complexes, hotels, shopping centers and others. Then they make the population and recyclers aware of the separation process. Once the waste is collected, it is taken to the ECA (classification and harvesting station). Finally, the recyclable waste is distributed in three phases. First, they are separated into non-ferrous, ferrous, cardboard, plastics and marketed through the digital platform. Then the organic waste that can be recovered is used in the organic fertilizer process where it is sold to a Ubaté farmer. Finally, the other waste is used in the "Cockroach Farm" to generate products such as: pet pellet, fish food, and food for high performance athletes.

Recycling from the Source / Reciclaje desde la fuente


Cortez had the idea to take advantage of waste, where a business concept could offer multiple benefits for the environment, the community and the entrepreneur. On one trip, he had the opportunity to help Canada identify the importance of recycling and take advantage of all types of waste.

"The market is not meeting the needs of the environment by creating marketable, but not recyclable, products," Cortez noted.

Overall impact

The objectives of Tresciclaje are aimed at sustainable development by building an economically sustainable, environmental business model and building opportunities for the majority of vulnerable people in society.

As a result, Tresciclaje directly and indirectly contributes to the achievement of two of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. With goal number 6, Clean Water and Sanitation, it is helping to decontaminate rivers and to clean the streets to protect natural resources such as water. Their work reduces illegal logging of forests, the main cause of the disappearance of water sources. In addition, the company recycles and processes, on average, 20 tons of waste every month.

In addition, through goal 8, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Tresciclaje has developed a model of recycling and sustainable development of productive work where almost 200 indirect jobs have been created due to the work of the recyclers. At the same time, it improves their living conditions and teaches and transforms Colombian society through the awareness of its recycling habits.

Business benefit

Tresciclaje, a private company, is dedicated to helping families and associations of recyclers to improve their management. Additionally, it works hand in hand with the association 5 r and ARCRECIFRONT

It benefits three-cycle economically because it finds sustainable development from a product that is usually not recycled, and finds an opportunity to earn money while benefiting the entire environment and society. Countries like Sweden or Norway recycle more than 90% of their waste while in Bogotá, there is a 96% market and management possibility.

As Cortez noted, “Our approach is to separate waste from the source, working as a base with the operative part such as recyclers and formalizing employment and improving their quality of life.”

Social and environmental benefit

Today, 20 tons of waste are recycled monthly. There are 120 associates in the two associations from which agreements have been made. More than 200,000 people have been trained in the entire process which has generated awareness for over four years and emphasized the importance of recycling from the source. Today, 3,200 tons of waste have been collected. For Cortez, "There is a lot to work with because these 3,200 tons of waste only corresponds to what goes into the Dona Juana landfill in one day."

With the innovation processes it could generate a source of food for livestock in a sustainable way because compost would be generated from a microorganism that decreases mosquitoes, bad smells and leachate. This would help to avoid the felling of trees that have to be carried out to grow soybeans, which is the food of cattle.

In addition to generating consumable food through the cockroach farm, in 30 square meters, the same amount of protein is produced as in 300 square meters of cows.

Cortez says it has positions open to all people who want to recycle with three cycles. "We are ex-officio recyclers and our processes are being optimized giving sustainable solutions which public policies are not generating."


Alejandro Ojeda Cortez, Founder

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Bogota, Bogota, CO

Business Website:

Year Founded: 2015

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

In terms of waste, 2.3 million tons are generated annually. While only 4% is being recovered, 96% is taken to Doña Juana, the largest landfill in Latin America, in contact with a useful life until 2030 and currently its useful life is extended until 2050 with 2070 plans. Being an alternative not sustainable and not friendly to the environment.

Taking this into account, Tresciclaje, a private company in Bogotá, was created to help families and associations of recyclers improve their management by separating waste from the source.

Alejandro Ojeda Cortez, company founder, summarized the seriousness of this problem. “In Bogotá, Colombia, about 6,300 tons of waste, equivalent to a 20-story building or 1,000 elephants stacked on top of each other are produced daily .”