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Bogotá, Colombia

South America Accelerator Programm
in partnership with NESsT


Amazóniko empowers Colombia's recycling community through its innovative platform and social support

Colombia’s recycling community employs 35,000 workers who play a crucial role in the country’s waste reduction and recycling efforts. However, 84% of this workforce are independent waste collectors who do not have access to formal contracts, legal job protection, and essential healthcare and social security services.

Bogotá-based enterprise Amazóniko has created a collaborative recycling platform that links everyone involved in the recycling process – from individual consumers to waste collectors, industries, and brands. Through the platform, each participant in the chain gains access to knowledge, tools, and incentives to prevent waste from ending in landfills. 

Amazóniko ensures stable and improved income for the waste collectors it collaborates with while providing them with social security benefits and financial support. The platform creates efficient collection routes for collectors and pays them fair prices for materials collected, subsidizing routes that aren’t profitable yet. The platform currently supports the livelihoods of nearly 50 waste collectors and their families.

Amazóniko users learn how to properly sort and prepare materials such as plastics, paper, glass, and metal for recycling and earn “Amazonikoins” or points that can be redeemed for benefits with partner brands based on the quality and quantity of their waste. Starting with just 30 users, in six years, the platform has grown to support a user base of over 16,500 individuals who recycle 20 tons of reusable materials per month.

Through its Brand Sponsorship Program, Amazóniko works closely with commercial brands such as McDonald’s, Papa Johns, Herbalife, and Greenpeace to create customized waste collection plans. The programme supports corporate partners in sponsoring waste collection from their employees’ and end consumers’ homes while tracking their carbon savings and gaining valuable insight into how their products are consumed, disposed of, and reused.

Programme support

By 2026, the enterprise aims to improve the livelihoods of over 250 recyclers and their families annually and engage 300,000 individuals to recycle approximately 1,000 tons monthly.

NESsT and IKEA Social Entrepreneurship will support Amazóniko to amplify the reach of its platform, backing the enterprise’s expansion plans into other Colombian cities, such as Medellin, Cali, and Barranquilla, and new Latin American markets.

To better manage waste collection, Amazóniko will use programme investment to upgrade its platform to enhance user experience and implement features to boost recycler engagement, such as route management and learning tools. These digital enhancements will allow for more accurate tracking of social impact.

We look forward to supporting Amazóniko’s journey to redefine waste management, empower the waste collection community, and create a sustainable future for Colombia.