Breaking News, World News and Taiwan News.

Recycling helps clean up Haiti, create new income

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti--Haiti's central government collects only about 40 percent of the capital's garbage, leaving the rest to pile up in streets and gutters in impoverished neighborhoods, adding to the nation's misery.

But now, several entrepreneurial firms have stepped in to combat both blight and poverty as Haitians learn how to recycle throwaways for cash, something people in other countries learned long ago.

With just one landfill in Port-au-Prince, the garbage can still pile up in places. But the metropolitan region of 3 million people has grown noticeably cleaner since at least four recycling companies began operating in the years after an earthquake devastated the capital in 2010.

They all recycle plastic bottles collected by thousands of scavengers and one, Environmental Cleaning Solutions SA, also buys plastic water bags and aluminum cans.

“It helps the environment. It helps with health issues. It helps the economy,” said Environmental Cleaning's president and founder, Edouard Carrie.

Another company, Sustainable Recycling Solutions, co-founded by Mike Shinoda of the rock band Linkin Park, recently received a US$250,000 grant from former U.S. President Bill Clinton's private foundation.

Danisa Julien takes her recyclables to one of 26 kiosks run nationwide by a program called Ranmase Lajan, Haitian Creole for “picking up money.” It has more centers than any other recycling firm.

On a recent day, the 28-year-old woman and her 16-year-old sister dragged four big bags crammed with empty juice bottles to a roadside kiosk, one in each hand, then scooped out the plastic containers with their slender arms.

The US$27 they earned is a small fortune in Haiti. Together, the sisters earn about US$10 a day selling plantains and rice in Port-au-Prince, where only about 30 percent of the population has steady work.

They said the extra money would go for food, tuition and school supplies for Julien's two children.

“If my son needs something, like food, or even a piece of paper for school, I can now do it,” the older sister said.

The bags of plastic bottles are bought for 11 to 14 cents per pound by Haiti Recycling, which cleans and shreds the plastic into a raw material for shipping to the U.S. The other companies ship their cleaned recyclables to the U.S. and elsewhere.

Johnny Atilus, who oversees the recycling kiosks, says Haitians are still struggling with the idea of rummaging through trash.

Write a Comment
CAPTCHA Code Image
Type in image code
Change the code
 Receive China Post promos
 Respond to this email
 Israel OK'd approximately 14,000 settler homes during talks: NGO 
In this April 17 photo, Marie Satty, 52, digs through the trash littering the roadside for empty plastic bottles to sell to a recycling center in Carrefour, Haiti.

(AP)

Enlarge Photo

Subscribe  |   Advertise  |   RSS Feed  |   About Us  |   Career  |   Contact Us
Sitemap  |   Top Stories  |   Taiwan  |   China  |   Business  |   Asia  |   World  |   Sports  |   Life  |   Arts & Leisure  |   Health  |   Editorial  |   Commentary
Travel  |   Movies  |   TV Listings  |   Classifieds  |   Bookstore  |   Getting Around  |   Weather  |   Guide Post  |   Student Post  |   English Courses  |   Terms of Use  |   Sitemap
  chinapost search