Reintegration and recycling: the innovative entrepreneurship of ex-combatants in Bogota


A group of graduates and participants in the reintegration and reincorporation processes recover used plastics and transform them into raw material to create new plastic products.

​Bogotá, 06/09/2021

The project is located in the limits of Ciudad Bolivar and Soacha and operates as an economic alternative for 20 people, including community members and ARN participants who have returned to civilian life from the legality. 

Albeiro wondered about his future once he arrived in the city. Noticing the amount of garbage and contamination that he had not seen in his years in the countryside, he decided to create what is now known as 'Reintegration and Recycling'. This project, supported by the Agency for Reincorporation and Normalization (ARN), consists of collecting, selecting, cleaning, and transforming plastic as waste, and thus giving useful life to recoverable materials.

“Tons of plastic waste are produced every day in the world, and it is important to reuse plastic as many times as possible to avoid garbage ending up in inappropriate places, in addition, the reuse of material helps us to avoid affecting the environment that much", said Albeiro. In addition, he says that by mitigating the environmental impact, they contribute to strengthening a culture of peace and reconciliation in the city. 

Andrés Felipe Stapper, Director General of the Agency for Reincorporation and Normalization (ARN), stressed the importance of the impact of this process: “The Agency's commitment to people in the reintegration process is permanent within the framework of the Policy of Peace with Legality of the Government of President Iván Duque. Reintegration and recycling are not only a source of employment for each of the families that join him today. It is also a commitment to sustainable work that turns plastic into second chances", he said. 

'Reintegration and Recycling' is an innovative project supported by the Agency for Reincorporation and Normalization, in partnership with the United Nations Development Program, the World Food Program and the City Council of Bogota.


Interesting facts: 

  • 5,310 people voluntarily entered the regular reintegration process, assigned to the ARN's Bogota Territorial Group.
  • 368 people continue the process of reintegration into civilian life in Bogota.
  • 86% of the people who have completed or are currently in the reintegration process are employed.
Created at 9/20/2021 9:20 AM by Adrian Mauricio Rojas Maldonado
Last modified at 9/20/2021 9:20 AM by Adrian Mauricio Rojas Maldonado