This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities. Agenda 21 recommends promoting the separate collection of recyclable parts of household waste.
Denmark has a municipal waste system where paper and cardboard, plastic and glass are recovered for recycling, wet waste being composted, and all waste dangerous to the environment being collected separately from householders. Households are required to sort out their rubbish at home for recycling.
In Brazil in 2002, 192 city governments offer separated waste collection services, up from 81 in 1994 and 135 in 1999. The cost of separated waste has dropped from US$ 159 per tonne in 1999 (approximately eight times more than the cost of conventional collection) to around $75 per tonne (around 5 times the conventional cost). However, there is a marked predominance in the practice of recycling in the south and south-east over the other regions of the country.
Recycling requires mobilizing and training people in every household and while it may last for a while as a fad, the amount of effort for highly intangible returns will result in the minimal amount of recycling being done by a very small minority.