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  • Sustainable Development

The household monsters are on the loose!

On October 31st, Halloween day, the “Monos” haunted the streets of Aveiro. It was up to volunteers from Agora Aveiro to combat these monsters and call out for their proper disposal.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes and 54 seconds

© Helder Berenguer

On the streets of Aveiro, a brotherhood of abandoned objects came to life on Halloween night. They are the "Monos" - household appliances and furniture that were once loved but have now fallen into oblivion.

It was when the sun went down and the city was shrouded in darkness, that the volunteers from Agora Aveiro emerged on October 31st at 4:30pm, bringing with them not only their creative costumes, but also an urgent message about the need for a fresh look on the disposal of these household appliances.

Our “Monos”, supplied by Veolia Portugal, were unloaded and exhibited to the public, each given a touch of personalized art with meticulously handmade decorations. Ghosts came to life, bats fluttered and spiders spun their webs. Between laughs and scares, plenty of treats were offered, providing a touch of sweetness that made the Halloween night even more unforgettable.

Why shouldn't these “monos” be abandoned? This equipment poses a threat to the environment, ecosystems and human health. When improperly disposed of - abandoned on public roads, in open fields or next to garbage cans - they release flammable, corrosive and toxic substances into the environment. Some of these substances can also affect human health, especially the brain, heart, liver, kidneys and nervous and reproductive systems. They also create favorable conditions for the spread of mosquitoes and rodents, which in turn help to spread disease. In addition, their improper disposal results in a waste of resources and valuable metals such as neodymium, indium and cobalt, used in the production of cars, televisions and batteries.

And what can be done to reduce this negative impact? The best solution is to make them last longer. Whenever possible, you should buy quality equipment which, although more expensive, tends to last longer. Care should be taken when using them and they should be properly maintained. If they break down, try to have them repaired, if necessary by a professional, and if they are functional but not used, they can and should be given to someone who needs them.

For better context, in Portugal, during 2021, 224 918 tons of "monos" (or "monsters"), bulky waste, were produced. A large part of the portuguese population doesn't know how to dispose of this waste properly. In fact, in the municipality of Aveiro, one should contact Veolia, which, after making an appointment, is responsible for collecting and recycling them correctly. As an alternative, they can also be delivered directly to the Municipal Ecocenter of Aveiro.

The "Monos e Companhia" project not only seeks to raise awareness but also to promote a change in behavior, helping to build a more sustainable and responsible community. This action was aimed at the younger generations since we believe that they are the best engine for change. And if you missed the event, throughout the next month the “Monos e Companhia” exhibition will be available to the public at Ecocentro Municipal de Aveiro!

By choosing responsible disposal, reuse and recycling, we can give these forgotten objects a new lease of life. Let's join forces to rewrite the destiny of the Monos and not leave them "without company".

Monos e Companhia" is part of the "Underground Division" project of Agora Aveiro. It was made in partnership with Veolia Portugal, and was supported by Câmara Municipal de Aveiro and IPDJ - Instituto Português do Desporto e Juventude I.P.

Beatriz Lopes