Landfill Harmonic, the Recycled Orchestra


Hosting the Landfill Harmonic Orchestra was surely one of the outstanding moments of Sardinia 2015 Symposium and surely an evening we will not easily forget.
On Tuesday, Favio Chávez, the director of the Orchestra, together with 15 musicians took the stage at Piazza Maria Luigia (Forte Village) for a night show entirely focused on their amazing project and music. We had the chanche to listen to their story and enjoy a live performance by the orchestra.

Landfill Harmonic is a group of young musicians that live in Paraguay next to one of South America’s largest landfills. The orchestra plays music from instruments made entirely out of garbage.

Favio Chávez got to know the kids and their families over 8 years ago while working on a waste recycling project at the landfill of Cateura. In this area more than 40% of children does not finish school because their parents need them to work. Favio, an environmental engineer with a musical background, decided to help the children by teaching them music lessons. At first it was difficult because they had no place to rehearse and Favio had to teach in the same place where the parents were working in the trash. The children knew nothing about music and it was difficult to contact parents because many of them were not living with their children.

After some time, parents began to see that playing music was keeping their kids out of trouble, some even reclaiming children they had previously abandoned.
Soon there were more children wanting lessons than instruments to play, so Chávez and Nicolas “Cola”, one of the garbage pickers, started realizing instruments by using the recycled materials from the landfill. String and wind instruments are made with oil tin cans, forks, bottle caps, and whatever is around.
The Orchestra has grown from just a few musicians to over 35. The music school of Cateura does not have its own building yet, but teaches music and how to build recycled instruments to more than 200 kids of the landfill.
Under the guidance of Favio Chavez, the orchestra has great success not only at home, but also internationally, performing sold-out concerts worldwide.

To learn more about the orchestra please visit www.landfillharmonicmovie.com.