We developed a project in favor of sustainable mobility. It aims at the reduction of traffic and pollution in cities by promoting the selective collection of waste and its use as a sustainable means for fueling public transport.
After receiving the challenge posed by Renault’s, Your Ideas Your Initiatives’, we started to brainstorm about the mobility problems that we have in our city.
Curitiba is a big city with almost two million citizens. Like any other big city, it faces the problems of mobility and pollution everyday. Thinking about that, we came up with an innovative solution that would bring many benefits to our society and to the environment as well.
The main idea of the project was the use of biomethane as fuel for use in public transportation, which here in Curitiba are buses. The use of this fuel would contribute to a reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.
The second part of this idea was to make the population participate and contribute to the project, as they would benefit by it. The population would separate their own organic garbage into plastic bags, which would be collected and weighted by the prefecture; depending on the weight of their garbage, the person would receive a credit that could be used to provide access to public transport.
So basically, the organic garbage that people have in their homes would have another destination. Special garbage trucks would collect the garbage; it would be weighed and then each person would be given a discount on their bus ticket in exchange. The garbage would go to a biogas centre; as the garbage decomposed, it would eventually become biogas (which is a fuel). After that, methane would be added which would turn the biogas into biomethane. The biomethane would be used as a fuel for the buses, so in the end, the population pays for the bus fuel and their ride using their garbage. The solid remains of the garbage could be used as soil fertilizer which could be sold to pay recycling, bus repairs and other costs.
The benefits of our project are:
-People would be encouraged to separate their garbage, and by embracing our project they would receive credits to use public transportation, thus saving money.
-By using biomethane, the environment would be less polluted, with less greenhouse gases.
-The countries that embraced this project and Renault would receive carbon credits and would be recognized by the UN.
-The garbage that would just be thrown in dumps, polluting the environment, would be used as a fuel for city buses.
-The cost of the biomethane per kilometer is really cheap because this is a renewable energy.
To make a great beginning, we decided to start with the most important part, the people, because in the end the project is about helping our community.
In our school, we have many people of different social classes, so it ended up being a good place for a campaign and interviews. We made some posters and informative papers, chose different people from different ages and areas of work, and talked to them about our idea. We asked them for feedback, suggestions, criticisms, if they would make use of this idea, and if the idea would be relevant for our city and society.
We also used research done by the geography teacher with all of the school’s students about the means of transportation they use to come to school. This research showed us that the majority of students come to school by car, mainly because of the price of the bus tickets and the comfort. These problems would be solved with the realization of our project.
In the end, we gained 100% approval and some of the answers really inspired us, such as "I only use a car because the public transportation is in bad shape, unsafe and slow, but I really prefer to take a seat on the bus and read. If your idea works, I'll sell my car and start using the bus again."