De Cara Nova Project combines environmental awareness and the fight against dengue

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Created to recover irregular waste disposal points in the Federal District, the De Cara Nova project was successful in its mission: in 2023, more than 8.3 thousand tons of waste were collected in public areas. In just one year of execution, the initiative transformed areas of 11 administrative regions and consolidated itself as another strategy of the Government of the Federal District (GDF) to combat mosquitoes Aedes aegypti.

The actions are carried out by the Urban Cleaning Service (SLU), in partnership with the Companhia Urbanizadora da Nova Capital do Brasil (Novacap) and with regional administrations.

The locations already covered received the planting of seedlings and the installation of information signs, as well as mobilization with educational and awareness-raising actions for residents of the area | Photos: Paulo H. Carvalho/Agência Brasília

New irregular disposal points will be transformed this year. The locations will be chosen based on the size and risk presented to the health of the population. “The De Cara Nova project task force will work in 64 points considered critical by the Department of Health. We will transform areas contaminated by waste into safe places, combating the spread of mosquitoes. This GDF initiative promotes public health and renews previously neglected spaces, strengthening the community against dengue”, highlights the CEO of SLU, Silvio Vieira.

The cities already included in the project were Paranoá, Santa Maria, Gama, Samambaia, Ceilândia, Recanto das Emas, Itapoã, Brazlândia, Riacho Fundo II, Varjão and Arapoanga. In addition to garbage collection, the areas received the planting of seedlings and the installation of information signs, as well as mobilization with educational and awareness-raising actions among residents.

The director of Environmental Surveillance at the Department of Health (SES-DF), Jadir Costa Filho, explains that, indirectly, planting seedlings is an ally in the fight against the disease. “Every care and janitorial action is important for the population. The planting makes people lose the habit of throwing rubbish and rubbish in the region, preventing the presence of mosquito deposits”, he explains.

Mosquitoes usually hide in shady places with no wind. At home, the insect sometimes tries to stay behind the curtain and sofa. “The ideal is to open the windows and doors, swing the curtains, whenever the smoke passes, so that the poison enters the residence, precisely because of the mosquito’s habit of liking shady and windless places”, points out the director.

The last city served by the project in 2023 was a landfill in Arapoanga, close to the access road to the neighboring city, Planaltina. The site had been accumulating rubbish for more than 30 years – from rubble, green waste to dead animals – and had erosion of around 20 cm. But, with the work of SLU street cleaners and Novacap employees, it became unrecognizable. The team completely cleaned the space, leveled the land and planted seedlings of trees and flowers native to the Cerrado. “This area was one of the biggest points of illegal disposal, and was transformed into a place for the population to coexist”, argues the regional administrator of Arapoanga, Sérgio de Araújo.

Take care of your city

Paranoá, Santa Maria, Gama, Samambaia, Ceilândia, Recanto das Emas, Itapoã, Brazlândia, Riacho Fundo II, Varjão and Arapoanga received the De Cara Nova project

Anyone who contributes to the irregular disposal of garbage and rubble in inappropriate locations may be fined by agents from the Secretariat for the Protection of the Urban Order (DF Legal). The teams inspect irregular dumping points, dirty lots and even those who place organic waste outside the day and time predetermined by the SLU collection. The measures are part of the scope of the ministry and are being intensified to combat the dengue mosquito. Punishments range from notifications to fines ranging from R$2,799 to ten times that amount, that is, R$27,799.

To dispose of it correctly, simply go to the nearest rubbish collector to your home. The GDF offers 23 pieces of equipment, which operate from Monday to Saturday, from 7am to 6pm. Civil construction waste, furniture and other bulky items (except electronics), pruning and antler waste, recyclable materials and used cooking oil (packaged in PET bottles) are accepted. Each person can dispose of up to 1 m³ of debris per day, the equivalent of a thousand-liter water tank.

Every day, SLU’s cleaning and rubble removal teams travel around the DF to remove from the streets what the population discards incorrectly. The work follows a schedule that indicates irregular points. These places are systematically cleaned, but they become targets of this environmental crime again, often on the same day as the street cleaners. The problem affects both the health of residents, due to the risk of the proliferation of diseases, and public coffers, as the SLU spends more than R$18 million per month on collection that should be in trash bins and dumpsters.

Any citizen can report an open dump in their community. To do this, simply contact the DF General Ombudsman’s Office via the website or telephone 162. You must include the full address and, if possible, photos of the location. It is also possible to request the collection of rubble and plant waste, among other actions, such as resurfacing, painting and installation of public equipment. Suggestions, complaints and compliments are also received.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Cara Nova Project combines environmental awareness fight dengue

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