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RETOS. Revista de Ciencias de la Administración y Economía

On-line version ISSN 1390-8618Print version ISSN 1390-6291


CAJAMARCA CAJAMARCA, Edisson Santiago; BUENO SAGBAICELA, William Ramiro  and  JIMBO DIAS, José Santiago. From zero to cash: Waste as a main source for an inclusive recycling business in Cuenca (Ecuador). Retos [online]. 2019, vol.9, n.17, pp.71-87. ISSN 1390-8618.

In an inclusive business (NI) context, this manuscript addresses the relationship between income and recycling. Within recycling, recycle workers are considered poor and vulnerable based on the economic pyramid (BDP) due to their annual income. Moreover, they depict the core of a value chain which includes various participants. On one hand, this research determines if the recyclers´ association membership directly influences their income level. On the other hand, it sets out to evaluate recycling working conditions to reveal an opportunity to generate profitability as an inclusive business. The methodology applied in this research is a cross-sectional study that follows an inductive approach to analyze quantitative information focused on 150 recycle workers, 27 private centers (intermediaries) and 2 recycling corporative centers. The highlights of the results are the value chain design from the city of Cuenca (Ecuador), the high commercial gross margins from intermediaries and the ensuing weak correlation between recycler´s association membership and income level. Hence, the overriding conclusions show that recycling has promising economic advantages conducive to create an inclusive business, considering that intermediaries are the main beneficiaries. Furthermore, recycle workers are limited because of their working conditions, and lastly the recycling association membership does not bring clear advantages regarding income level improvement.

Keywords : Income; recycle workers; value chain; inclusive business; solid waste; Cuenca.

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