Alchemy: Turning waste into gold, through passion

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Alchemy: Turning waste into gold, through passion

Mangalia, RomaniaMangalia, Constanta, Romania
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

Although more than 50% of urban waste can be recycled and reused, Romania is throwing at the garbage dump approximately 99% of its waste.
So, only 1% is recycled and our intention is to increase this figure, for the benefit of all Romanian communities.

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

What if...through passion, love for nature and their community, people would creatively transform, like alchemists, waste into new useful produc
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

People from communities are not aware of recycling importance. Within homes, waste is putted in the same bag and throw away. Children at school are not following environmental programs and, throwing products packs directly on the street is often seen. Also, there are few center for collecting/recycling waste, but located in the biggest towns. Within Mangalia, tourism, together with its waste flourish during summer time, affecting sea and beaches

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

Collecting waste materials from companies (through collaboration partnerships) and individuals: used newspapers, cardboard, cans, pet and glass bottles, construction materials, and transform them in new, artistic, decorative objects: present box, baskets, jewelries, home decoration, inside / outside mosaics and other crafts. Involving in project members of community (private sector - for providing waste materials) and for crafting: disadvantaged personnel for full time employment and students, through internships, for art crafting ideas. The crafted objects will be sell on specific stores and on-line store. Teaching young students for free about waste recycling and reusing through creative craft workshops at work site or schools.
Impact: How does it Work

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

Hiring disadvantaged personnel (at least 2 full time employees) for full time involvement, after training for skills improvement in thematic crafting (Christmas, Easter, Halloween, home decoration, school and company projects). New creative project will be identified through collaboration, by internships, with students with art crafting ideas. The students art will be promoted and they crafts will be sell within specific stores and created own on-line store. Moreover, will be provided free courses to young students, in order for them to learn about waste recycling and reusing of materials through creative craft workshops, either at work site or schools. Providing free crafting ideas on website for people to use and download for free.

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

At least 2 full employees hired (disadvantaged category); at least 20 students get their professional experience through internships at work site (art promoted, with external revenue opportunities); 1 site created that will host on-line shop, students art promotion and their art for sell and free crafting video for students, schools and interest persons; more than 300 students trained in the spirit of environmental protection and in crafting ideas (enhancing also their creativity thinking); at least 5 collaboration establishments with private companies for their waste removal and reuse; establishing a community of practice for recycling and reuse of materials (at least 2,500 members); 1 conference organized with participants from public, private and social sectors, where the project and results will be presented ; an aware community about environmental protection through recycle/reuse

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

The materials used for crafted materials will be waste, and obtained for free. Depending on each collaboration with private sector, companies can provide us benefits for their garbage disposal. Waste will be transformed within crafted materials and sell on specific stores and our on-line store. In order to have continuity along the year, the crafts will include also thematic items (Christmas, Easter, Halloween, souvenirs for tourists etc.);

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

Currently, there is one waste collection center within Constanta, at 40 Km away from Mangalia. The difference is that our project come closer to community people, in promoting a culture of recycling and reuse, from usual/throw away garbage to amazing crafted products. Moreover, this project can be seen as a social business, considering that disadvantaged persons will be involved full time in project and students will have the opportunity for getting a professional experience. Moreover, the lessons learn will be shared for free on website. There is no other similar project within our community.

Founding Story

The founder of this project is my wife, Cornelia. She is involved in many free projects for students, training them in personal development, decision making and creative techniques. Once we saw a documentary about garbage and Romania and how Romania accept garbage from other countries, not for reuse & recycle, but only for storage, receiving a specific fee. We don't have solution with our own garbage, how to take extra garbage and do nothing than storage? It seemed outrageous. Then we came out with this this idea - if we were alchemists, we could made gold out of it. Our project is not about gold making, but about beautiful crafted objects made out of trash, that from our perspective, are pure gold and an inspiring idea for our community.