Mente Verde – Ciudad Limpia

What is it? Description of the service

“Mente Verde – Ciudad Limpia” is a strategy that seeks the active participation of citizens in the collection of recyclable material. A service which integrates communication, education and promotion activities on the collection of waste materials. In exchange, citizens receive goods, products and services, benefitting the community, the city and the planet.

What for? Origin or issues to be resolved

Promoting and incentivising the culture of recycling is one of the challenges faced by 21st century societies. It is the only possible response to the current issues regarding the treatment, disposal, elimination and productive use of the waste products generated in large urban centres.

The strategy of “Mente Verde – Ciudad Limpia” seeks to reduce CO2 emissions by changing habits and attitudes regarding the treatment of these waste products by citizens.

Additionally, the project aims to take advantage of recyclable materials to generate new employment and to improve the quality of life of waste collectors in Bogotá.

Who? Agents: managers or receivers

  • MANAGERS: public companies are in charge of implementing the initiative and seek the support of linked private companies, as well as the installation of the ecological machine in public spaces. Waste collectors are also an essential part of the process, by serving as a nexus between citizens and recycling plants. In this way, recycle workers improve their income and the companies committed to the strategy reap benefits.
  • RECEIVERS: citizens.

How does it work? Development

The strategy links the public and private companies that will support the project, offering in exchange the recognition of consumers and the government, certifying that they follow Environmental Responsibility treaties, improving production processes and quality of life in the city.

Citizens may take packaging to ecological machines, where, by using their Ecological Points Card, they will be able to deposit them (identified with the campaign trademark) and accumulate points.

These points can then be used in exchange for discounts on public services, transport cards, markets and tickets for the cinema, concerts and a range of shows, handed out by companies taking part in the campaign.

The strategy will be publicised through a campaign on social networks, regular advertising, campaigns at schools, universities, parks, companies and shopping centres, incentivising citizens to obtain the card for free, and recycle the packaging they used to throw away.

Part of the material collected will be handed over to professional waste collectors, who will take it to authorised centres for the appropriate treatment.

Other waste products will be distributed to participating companies who use recycled materials in their production processes.

Why? Significance

Waste treatment represents one of the greatest issues resulting from the growth of cities. It is necessary to find a mechanism to raise awareness amongst the population, as, in most cases, citizens are not encouraged to recycle.

This project seeks to educate and raise awareness regarding recycling. By carrying out changes in design, with easier colour identification, and with information regarding where and how waste products should be deposited, and the reasons why they should be recycled.

Lastly, “Mente Verde – Ciudad Limpia” aims to incentivise recycling, creating a large-scale collective which, in the long term, will change people’s attitudes and result in important changes in the atmosphere of the city.


Elver Alonso Dueñas Pérez.
Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Bogota, Colombia.

Teachers: Ricardo Franco and Edgar Patiño

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