In some places, such as São Paulo, Brazil, a good portion of the recycling is done by independent waste collectors, or catadores (“pickers”), and a novel project aims to create a method for extending the livelihood of these waste pickers to go beyond just simply collecting trash and recyclables.
The project, from Studio Swine, is called Can City, and centers around a mobile foundry that can smelt aluminum cans and turn them into furniture by burning reclaimed waste vegetable oil.
“The Catadores mine the streets for materials for the furnace, cheap and adaptable sand moulds are made using readily available construction sand from local building sites.
Where the majority of carbon cost is in the transportation of goods rather than their production – ‘Can City’ explores the possibility of industry returning to our cities, using free metal and free fuel to produce an endless range of individually crafted aluminum items adaptable to customisations and able to ‘cast on demand’.” – Can City
The mobile foundry is also made from scrap, which is appropriate, and although the first items being produced by Can City are stools, just about anything that can made with cast aluminum could be produced using this method.
Can City was supported in part by Heineken, and the foundry and works were shown at a gallery, the Coletivo Amor de Madre Gallery, in São Paulo.