Recently, Executives Without Borders worked with a broad coalition of businesses and nonprofits to create a unique program in Haiti. The goal of the program, Ramase Lajan, is to help build critical skills, provide needed income and increase recycling in the country.
In Haiti, discarded plastic containers fill the streets and clog streams and canals throughout the island national. The overwhelming volume of plastic containers is often so great that they cause the streams and canals to overflow, sending bacteria- and cholera-infected water into homes and communities.
The Ramase Lajan program has been designed to build on the relationships among recycling companies and nonprofit organizations. It creates buyback centers across Haiti, increasing opportunities for Haitians to have competitive paying jobs, clean the streets and streams and reduce the spread of disease from unsafe water.
Here is how the program works:
- Sponsors purchase a buyback center and donate it to an organization to operate.
- Haitians collect plastic and sell it to a Ramase Lajan center at a fair market price.
- The center sorts the plastic, which is sent to ISRI (Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries) and BIR (Bureau of International Recycling) member Haiti Recycling, Port-au-Prince, for processing.
The goal of the program is to have sponsors for four new centers in 2014 at the cost of $25,000 each. The effort is being organized by Haiti Recycling, U.S. Shredder and the Recycling Today Media Group. The collection centers will operate as franchise locations of Haiti Recycling but will be individually owned and operated by Haitian entrepreneurs.
If you or your company is interested in supporting this effort, please contact Bill Tigner of U.S. Shredder, based in Alabama, or Jim Keefe of the Recycling Today Media Group, based in Ohio.
Another program partner is CSS International Holdings, which provides critical construction, fabrication, logistics, supply and other support services for the NGO community and governments worldwide in emerging and postdisaster environments. CSS helps fund the development of Ramase Lajan centers, manufactures the units using Haitian labor and subsidizes the cost of each collection center.
To learn more about the program, watch the following video.