Solidarity-based waste management

Solidarity-based waste management

Beirut, LebanonLebanon
Year Founded:
2010
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Growth
Budget: 
$500,000 - $1 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The project "Solidarity-based network for sustainable recyclable waste management" aims to implement a sustainable waste management system where each ton of recyclable waste sorted by an organization or an individual, and sold to a recycling industry, allows to finance a social action or service.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if waste could finance social services and solidarity actions?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

World, particular developing countries including Lebanon, are facing today a real crisis regarding waste management. Although 80% of solid wastes can be recovered, in most cases, these wastes are left in sanitary landfills or dumps when they are not simply thrown in the nature or burnt. Constituting a major source of pollution today, these wastes present tremendous social, environmental and economical opportunities if well managed.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

We propose to implement in Lebanon a sustainable solution for waste management, based on recyclable waste sorting at the point of generation, and recycling. This particular solution is totally innovative, since the benefits realized through the waste selling to recyclable plants will be reinvested in social services and activities, such as technical aids for persons with disabilities. The solution is undertaken by an organization that seeks viability without aiming profit, in collaboration with other NGOs and recycling industries. Thus, the solution provides a transition from a society where waste is a source of pollution to a society where waste is a resource, used for sustainable development and solidarity actions.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The solution involves a modification of behavior to enable sustainable living. In fact, by promoting the adoption of waste sorting practices instead of throwing waste in an inappropriate way, this solution reduces environmental degradation and allows financing social actions. For instance, one ton of plastic caps sorted and collected allows to finance one wheelchair. Social actions and services are selected by the organization or individual that sorts waste. Thus, in the same manner, one ton of cans or paper can finance for instance crutches, or walkers, or medical consultations. A whole municipality sorting its waste can finance public toilets. A refugee camp sorting its waste can finance immunization campaign or hen-house to provide food.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Currently, 30 social actions are performed each month thanks to the sale of waste. This is equivalent to about 1 social free social service per day, provided to persons in difficulties!Today, about 200 organizations including companies, schools, universities, banks, hospitals, sports clubs, residential building , restaurants, hotels, NGO, municipalities, and refugee camps; as thousands of individuals, are participating to this solution. We project to provide an appropriate management for recyclable waste that forms 30 % from total waste. The solution will then directly impact: 4.5 million of inhabitants in Lebanon benefiting from a less polluted environment; 29200 persons benefiting from social activities and services each year; 300 women and men benefiting from green jobs opportunities; 10 recycling plants in Lebanon having access to good quality and affordable raw materials...
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Our solution is financially sustainable: in fact, 70% of waste selling revenues are used to cover operational costs (transportation, salaries, administrative costs). The 30% remaining are used to finance the social services selected by organizations depending on their needs. Nevertheless, financial support is needed to purchase equipment allowing to optimize waste transportation and preparation to recycling in order to increase social actions.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Private companies currently in charge of waste management ensure a very poor management system and have the highest prices in the world! The few small waste sorting initiatives undertaken until then by other NGOs address only the environmental aspect. What makes our solution more appealing is its holistic sustainable development approach, and solidarity aspect. Besides, our solution includes training, monitoring; secondary centers allowing volume reduction and transportation optimization; but also a coordination between NGOs that increases service efficiency and reduce investment costs.
Team

Founding Story

The idea of the project resulted from the desire to respond to a double need: First, the need to find a solution to pollution by waste which dramatically degrade the environment in Lebanon. Then , to support a municipalities, individuals and communities in difficulty, who do not have sufficient resources to ensure the social services and actions they need.
About You
Organization:
arcenciel
About You
First Name

olivia

Last Name

maamari

About Your Project
Organization Name

arcenciel

Organization Country
Country where this project is creating social impact

, Beirut

How long has your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

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Your Solution
Founding Story: Share a story about the “Aha!” moment that led you to get started and/or to see the potential for this to succeed.

The idea of the project resulted from the desire to respond to a double need: First, the need to find a solution to pollution by waste which dramatically degrades the environment in Lebanon. Then , to support municipalities, individuals and communities in difficulty, who do not have sufficient resources to ensure the social services and actions they need. Besides, arcenciel, an NGO for sustainable development includes 8 programs, including Environment, Accessibility and Mobility, Social , Youth, Employment, and Health. Thus, the idea to raise awareness regarding recycling issues and collecting waste through environment Program. and distributing free services through other programs came naturally.

Select Sector(s): To which of Unilever's categories of sustainability does your solution apply?

Waste.

Measurable Impact
Audience: Who have you identified as your customers/recipients and why? How will you get your solution to them or engage them in your initiative?

Our customer are all producers of waste, i.e all organizations and individuals, including NGO, schools, universities, companies, municipalities, refugee camps. We provide awareness sessions on waste sorting and recycling, as awareness and marketing campaigns to engage them in our initiative. Besides, the conduction of a social action financed through waste recycling provides a social motivation to participants, whereas the environmental motivation is not sufficient to obtain changment of behaviour

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date and expected impact in the future?

Currently, 30 social actions are performed each month thanks to the sale of waste. This is equivalent to about 1 social free social service per day, provided to persons in difficulties!Today, about 200 organizations including companies, schools, universities, banks, hospitals, sports clubs, residential building , restaurants, hotels, NGO, municipalities, and refugee camps; as thousands of individuals, are participating to this solution. We project to provide an appropriate management for all recyclable waste that forms 30 % from total waste. The solution will then directly impact 4.5 million of inhabitants in Lebanon benefiting from a less polluted environment; 29200 persons benefiting from social activities and services each year; 300 women and men benefiting from green jobs opportunities; 10 recycling plants in Lebanon having access to good quality and affordable raw materials...

Growth, Finance & Leadership
Scaling the Solution: How do you intend to scale your activities over the next two years (e.g., reach new markets, diversify solutions, etc.)? What will make this possible?

We intend to scale our activities through increasing the number of organizations participating to the project, and the quantities of waste collected and recycled. First, we plan to conduct an awareness and marketing campaign. Then, we plan to open regional secondary sorting centers in urban and peri-urban regions to increase the coverage of the network. Finally, we're searching for solutions for the waste than can not be recycled in Lebanon. These solutions could include new technologies, or the exportation to industries abroad interested by such raw materials.

Financial Sustainability: What is your business model to ensure financial sustainability?

Our solution is financially sustainable: in fact, 70% of waste selling revenues are used to cover operational costs (transportation, salaries, administrative costs). The 30% remaining are used to finance the social services selected by organizations depending on their needs. Nevertheless, financial support is needed to purchase equipment allowing to optimize waste transportation and preparation to recycling in order to increase social actions.

Experience: Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

Solidarity-based waste management is an initiative based on previous successful initiatives conduced in the framework of the program of Environment in arcenciel. In fact, a network for Health Care Waste Management has been established in 2003, when no solution was available. This network is managing today about 70% of the Health Care Waste produced in Lebanon, ans has been considered as a success story by LIFE, the financial instrument of EU.

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