Haiti is approximately the size of Maryland but imports over 40,000 lbs of plastic each day. This plastic ends up thrown on the streets where it clogs canals. During hurricane season, it contributes to massive mudslides and flooding. The Recycling Center aims to employ community members to pick up this plastic, as well as aluminum, effectively turning trash into cash.
In April 2018, our Recycling Center opened its new location near the Arcahaie market. This space is complete with a new sorting area and solar panel, which provides light in and around the center at night, as well as electricity for collectors to charge their phones in exchange for turning in recyclables.
We partner with HaitiPlast, an organization from Port-au-Prince that partners with the international Plastic Bank. Together, they promote Social Plastic. HaitiPlast has helped us offer new and innovative training to our Recycling Center staff to increase our operation efficiencies. This partnership has also helped us supply wifi at the Center and create full- and half-tuition scholarships. Our most active collectors are eligible to pay their children's school tuition with these scholarships.
Because the community is the driving force and true partner in all of our projects, we have earned the support of the Mayor of Arcahaie and landowners for the Recycling Center. The Center contributes to our core belief that health is not merely the absence of disease, but rather the ability of an individual to fulfill their innate potential.
This center not only cleans up the environment to prevent flooding from plugged canals, and improve air quality by preventing the burning of trash, but it enables families to supplement their income in a dignified manner to provide food and education for their relatives and children.