The Camino Real community in Cusco, Peru is poised to take a big step forward towards realizing their dream of becoming an eco-neighborhood: Tambo Recycling and Reuse Center is now ready to break ground!
The first of four integrated projects slated for implementation from the Camino Real Sustainable Neighborhood Plan that Ecocity Builders helped the community develop through a participatory process over the past year, Tambo will remedy the excessive amounts of litter currently strewn across the community’s streets and green spaces due to a lack of an adequate reuse and recycling facility.
To help the community realize its dream and Ecocity Builders to continue to facilitate other communities’ on-the-ground endeavors to create cleaner, safer, and healthier urban environments, we invite you to join us in raising $20,000 towards the cause on Giving Tuesday. Celebrated this year on November 27th, #GivingTuesday is a day for us all to embrace the spirit of giving by sharing what we can with the people and causes who need it. (Ready to donate now? Go to our campaign page)
Following on the heels of the 2017 Peer-to-Peer Urbanism campaign chronicling Ecocity Builders’ ongoing engagement with Cusco’s neighborhood, academic, and local government communities through its Urbinsight initiative, Tambo signifies a living, breathing culmination of an in-depth, multi-year, cross-sectoral participatory action research process that went from initial community roundtables and data collection workshops and material flow and neighborhood archetype assessments to neighborhood metabolism visualizations and community-built home composting systems, resulting in the comprehensive sustainable neighborhood plan that calls for the center.
A Call for Action from the Tambo team
In early 2018, Ecocity Builders received funds from UN Environment Program to develop a neighborhood scale sustainability plan. After developing a local team of experts in Cusco, Perú to investigate existing environmental and social conditions in the city’s Camino Real community, the team then worked with local community members to collect citizen data and develop a neighborhood sustainability plan using the Urbinsight participatory approach. The team and community came up with over 50 proposals to improve sustainability and quality of life in Camino Real before integrating the proposals, ultimately resulting in four integrated and strong proposals.
Of the four proposals, the community has continued to emphasize that the Tambo Recycling and Reuse Center proposal should have the highest priority, as it tackles the issue of waste accumulation in the neighborhood and the community natural spaces.
As a result, the expert team and Ecocity Builders have decided to move forward with the implementation of this proposal and we need your help!
We are currently working with community leaders to design the center architecturally as well as to develop a business plan that will ensure the center’s success for years to come. If this plan is successful, Camino Real will have a functioning recycling and reuse center that sells recyclable materials to Cusco-based recycling companies, sorting reusable materials such as tires that can be used to build retaining walls, and a compost program to convert organic waste to nutrient dense soil for community gardens.
The funds accrued through the sale of recyclable materials will support the employment of up to two community members who will work at the center. Tambo will have indoor storage and shelves to organize re-usable materials, outdoor storage to separate and store recyclable materials, an outside compost section, and an indoor community classroom/meeting space.
The classroom space will serve as a location for the Camino Real neighborhood leaders and the Youth Network to meet and plan their neighborhood clean-up and beautification activities. It will also be used for capacity building workshops around waste issues.
Currently, much of the waste in Camino Real is dumped into an important wetland area that is the head of the Saphy River watershed, contaminating the waterways and accruing faster than the community organizations can mitigate.
If successful, the Municipality of Cusco hopes to replicate this solution in other neighborhoods throughout Cusco.
Please follow along as we work with the Camino Real community members as well as local experts in Cusco to develop a detailed project plan for implementation, and most importantly, help us make sure that this prototypal center is built and can be replicated by donating to Ecocity Builders on Giving Tuesday.
The Tambo Recycling and Reuse Center approach could transform waste issues in Cusco, protect waterways, allow for greater biodiversity and ecosystem health, and reduce consumption and waste production.