An Ad Agency Is Making Bricks Out Of A Brazilian Dam Disaster

WHAT: A project that aims to accelerate the revival of the Mariana region, a victim of the Fundão Dam collapse in November 2015, by helping clear the area, rebuilding houses, hospitals, schools, and community centers, as well as generate jobs and revenue for local communities.

WHO: Grey Brazil, EcoBrick

WHY WE CARE: Ad agencies fancy themselves creative problem solvers, and this is an example of using that skillset for a bigger cause than, say, selling cereal. The Fundão Dam collapse covered the Mariana region in a sea of mud. Grey Brazil, along with geotechnology and geomaterial engineers, and ecological bricks factory Ecobrick, launched this initiative to use the mud from the tragedy to make clean, non-toxic raw material for the production of ecological bricks, that it says are up to seven times stronger than ordinary clay bricks.

In a statement, the agency says that so far more than 3,000 ecological bricks have already been produced by hand from the mud, but plans are underway for a new Bricks from Mariana factory that will significantly increase production. The factory will have a 100% local workforce, and use more than 5 million kilos of mud from the local environment to make 1.2 million bricks by the end of the year. These bricks will be used to rebuild homes, schools, and health and recreation centers for at least 300 families in the area.