Economists and household solid waste (HSW) practitioners foresee that more than 40% of the projected world waste generation is expected to increase in the Global South in 2050. In Latin American countries, among several issues, the main concerns are the non-structured consumerism to adapt the modern life. Likewise, many cities have insufficient financial resources, absence of bylaws and standards, lack of institutional arrangement, low level of awareness on HSW management, inappropriate technologies, and absent recognition of waste pickers (WPs). Thus, the challenges forward are the co-creation of unintended consequences such as pollution, human diseases, ecosystem damage, and climate change of Latin American cities. The environmental impacts are seen globally because of the contribution to multiple strategies involving HSW, such as the cleaning patches of microplastics in the North Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean. Yet, by considering global problems and mainly sufficient opportunities for a proper local HSW management through the recognition of WP recycling cooperatives, it becomes a good exercise for urban-industrial ecologists in Latin America. ... mehrA central position in understanding such phenomenon contributes to the progress of including social, political, and cultural aspects in the mainstreaming of the interaction between the communities of urban and industrial ecologists. This study recalls the main physical (i.e., material flows) with the underlying biophysical aspects (e.g., labor conditions, governance systems, wealth distribution, cultural behaviors) to explain the limits to current approaches for the urban sustainability approaches. Grounded on empirical research and conceptual analysis for sustainable HSW management, we examine in an early stage the interacted waste and urban sustainability systems. We analyzed processes and material flows of HSW management within policies, statistic data, and semi-structured interviews with agents to bring into the context the Integrative Concept of Sustainability of the Helmholtz Institution to Belo Horizonte's case. Belo Horizonte is the fourth economic-axis and the bottom-up city that recognized WPs as part of the conventional HSW system politically in Brazil. The empirical results show identified economic and cultural organizations of WP cooperatives are the single responsible for the share of dissipated recyclables flow that can be recovered economically. Influential communities (e.g., NGO and Street Pastoral Care and WP cooperatives are becoming essential mediators between city and recycling industries, and they set rules to minimize urban social problems like child labor and share of income in Belo Horizonte. The enactment of policies and the involvement of industries have an essential role to play in setting the market of recyclables that differentiate formal and informal WP cooperative system. The sustainability understanding for proper HSW management is the most complex in Belo Horizonte's case because it reveals the tensions (e.g., conflict of technological interests) identified in the empirical research. In this context, respect, solidarity, reciprocity, fairness, and responsibility provide instructive and practical examples of identified human moral values within recycling cooperatives that defy the current system to the envisaged sustainability transdisciplinary model. We show how insights of transdisciplinary research can contribute to urban-industrial ecology by further defining who bears the impact of sustainable urban activity.