Recuperando Vida

In Medellín’s Comuna 8, more than 37,000 inhabitants live without central waste services

Public health suffers dramatically from uncollected trash on the streets and recyclers work in deplorable conditions

By working with local businesses we can provide trash services and minimize public health risks for the community and recyclers

Where will your money go?

Your money will be going into growing an existing waste management and recycling business that has the ability to provide waste management and recycling but is unable to expand the service on their own. The E2E Foundation plans to support Campo Santo financially, with management as well as with business strategy. The Foundation will pay for the salaries of ten recyclers for the first year and then move down to paying just a portion of the salaries in the second year.

After this, Campo Santo will be self-sufficient and able to continue expansion of services to other households in the area

Approximately 120 informal recyclers work in Comuna 8 and earn about $1 a day.

They do so without basic protective gear, such as gloves and masks, which exposes them to higher rates of illness, respiratory infection and skin disease.

Filmed by Katy Roberts

Who are we working with?

Our project partners are the Juntas de Acción Comunales (local government groups), Campo Santo, the recyclers and other community leaders.

Campo Santo is known throughout Medellín and surrounding areas for their contribution to sustainable environmental practices, peacebuilding and their conflict resolution efforts. JACs have important administrative decision making authority at a local level and influence important policy decisions at a municipal level. The recyclers and community leaders are important stakeholders that will be vital in the decision-making process for project management and evaluation.

We are currently seeking partnerships with the Alcaldía de Medellín and EPM to streamline our efforts with current pubic services. We are negotiating a collaboration with Proplanet®, Ekored® and Trashbag® to improve utilization of materials and business productivity for Campo Santo.

Our Partners

Campo Santo

Campo Santo is a recycling, composting and environmental education corporation based at Cerro de los Valores in the Caicedo neighborhood. Campo Santo was founded in 2005 by a group of motivated ex-combatants to recover public spaces previously associated with violence, drugs, and economic insecurity. Over the past 12 years, the Cerro de los Valores has become synonymous with peacebuilding, forgiveness and reconciliation. Corporación Campo Santo is the project operator of Recuperando Vida, bringing over a decade of experience to the project.


Trashbag is a store that sells artisanal products made from recycled materials has offered to advertise donations to the Recuperando Vida project in their stores, thereby providing an external source of funding for the program through donations. This will be done in exchange for discarded tarp from Comuna 8. Tarp is a product that does not have a value in the recyclable re-sale market, and offers Recuperando Vida recyclers the opportunity to not only reduce waste but also generate extra income for the program in the long-run.


Ekored is a plastic recycling center. They have offered to loan a compacting machine and buy recycled plastic from Corporación Campo Santo at the highest market rates available in Colombia.


Proplanet is a Tetrapak recycling center in Medellín has offered to provide community incentives in conjunction with the project such as the construction of new roofs in exchange for the community’s recycled tetrapak.Tetrapak containers will be recycled through Campo Santo and in two local schools. This partnership not only provides a unique way to reuse a highly prominent material, but incentivizes community involvement and development.

How can you help?

Invest directly in the community

Your support will give the community the tools it needs to improve its own waste management services in a self-sustaining way and help to break a cycle of poverty and violence

If you would like to learn more, contact us!