CoLab's work in waste and recycling brings together appropriate technology and innovative business models for enterprise development in low and middle-income countries. Partnering with wastepickers and municipalities in Central America, Brazil, Africa, and India, we help design integrated social and technical solutions for managing solid waste and co-create small waste sector businesses in partnership with waste pickers and municipal governments. Our aim is to simultaneously reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also creating livelihood income for people living in extreme poverty.
Multidisciplinary teams of students, lecturers, and professors from CoLab and MIT’s D-Lab and the Sloan School of Management work collaboratively on projects. While CoLab specializes in social innovation, offering marginalized populations an opportunity to use their knowledge of waste management to create and implement solutions; D-Lab engineers appropriate technologies; and the Sloan School of Management marries technological advances to innovative business models.
Ultimately, with technologies and business models designed to fit the needs of specific waste streams, our aspiration is to create clusters of waste sector businesses that move entire regions towards zero waste. Follow the links below to learn more.