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SCJ Recycles: Increasing Latin American Recycling Rates with Innovation, Education

As one of the largest aerosol producers in Latin America, it matters to us that aerosol cans get recycled. In the 1990s, we led the charge for roadside steel can recycling in the United States. We want to help make product recycling easier in other countries, too.

That’s why in 2016, we built an innovative programme that led to more efficient aerosol recycling in Latin America, while providing an improved working environment for employees at waste separation facilities.

"SCJ Recycles is one of the many ways we try to do the right thing. It’s about being responsible, ethical and mindful that we are all part of something bigger."
- Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson

In many Latin American countries, limited budget and infrastructure means waste sorting is done manually, with few ways to monitor results. This means some recyclable materials may be missed.

Our SC Johnson teams in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay came up with a new way to increase recycling by helping build infrastructure and inspire more positive habits.

Community Recycling Starts with Effective Infrastructure

Following a baseline study of how SC Johnson products are recovered and recycled, the team developed the “SCJ Recycles” aerosol recycling kit for use in sorting plants. The kit allows waste workers to quickly sort recycling and separate cans from other recyclable materials using a magnetic separator.
The cans are then safely emptied into a decontaminator, and crushed in a compactor for efficient handling and transportation to recycled waste processors.
SC Johnson worked with local governments in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay to implement the kit, while providing training and equipment for recycling workers to help improve their working conditions.
We also joined CEMPRE, a non-profit association that works to promote the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling waste as part of integrated waste management. 

Education about Recycling Helps Build Positive Habits

Along with its infrastructure work, the SC Johnson team created educational workshops as part of the “SCJ Recycles” programme. More than 5,500 students and adults participated in workshops meant to stimulate recycling practices and provide sustainability know-how.
SC Johnson employees, families and friends volunteered to provide more than 30 workshops, while also completing an inventory of waste generated at SC Johnson sites and teaching about waste sorting in the office.
We were humbled to receive the 2016 Western Hemisphere Corporate Citizenship Award from the Association of American Chambers of Commerce in Latin America & the Caribbean for this programme.
“SCJ Recycles is one of the many ways we try to do the right thing,” said Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. “It’s about being responsible, ethical and mindful that we are all part of something bigger. We are honoured and humbled that the programme is being acknowledged with this award.”