40 Amanda Brinton University of Florida Master of Sustainable Development Practice firstname.lastname@example.org Spring 2017 Supervisory Committee : Advisor Dr. Timoth y Townsend ( UF Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences) Committee Members Thomas Ankersen (UF Levin College of Law) John Kraft (UF Warrington College of Business) A Needs Assessment of a Municipal Compost Pilot Project in the Do minican Republic
1 Solid Waste Management in the Dominican Republic Table of Contents Figures, Tables and Images 4 Abstract 5 Acronyms and Keyword Definitions 6 A c knowledgements 6 Introduction 7 Literature Review 8 14 Back ground of Waste Management in the Dominican Republic Plastic P roblems Health Problems Related to Waste Management Employment Relating to Wa ste Management Food Waste and Composting Projects in Developing Countries Public Private Partnerships Private Business Partnerships Education About the Environment and Recycling Location Background 1 4 1 5 Background of Project 1 5 2 0 Cross Scal e and Cross Disciplinary Analysis Timeline of Past Municipal Compost Project Project Funding Background of Research 2 0 2 3
2 Research Timeline Conceptua l Framework Related to Overall Compost Project Conceptual Framework Related to Summer Research Research Methodology Activities 2 3 2 5 Interviews House Visits Envir onmental Education Survey Community Maps Results Data 2 5 2 7 Key Interview Results Key Survey Results Results Analysis 2 7 2 9 Situational Analysis Opportunities for Improved Communication between Different Stakeholders Key Challenges to Previous Project Outreach Acti vities 2 9 3 3 Selection of Environmental Coordinators Weekly Facilitated Discussions Educational Workshop Given by ADELVA Workshop and Forum with Incoming Mayor and Coordinators Neighborhood Cleanups Facilitated Discussion between Organizational Stakeholders Neighborhood Educational Workshop
3 Practicum Deliverables 3 4 35 Needs Assessment Systemized Community Integration and Support Monthly Neighborhood Cleanups Public Trash Cans Limitations 35 Top Three Recommendations 3 6 Increased Outreach and Monitoring Inclusion of Municipal Collection Employees Additional Recommendations 3 7 3 9 Restructuring of Program Economics and Incentives Use of Baskets as Collection Tools Plastic Bottle and Plastic Bag Legislation Provincial Access to a Recyc ling Facility Conclusion 3 9 References 4 0 4 2 Appendix : Survey Results 43
4 Figures, Tables and Images Figure 1: Map of Dominican Republic Figure 2: Map of Laguna Salada Figure 3: Pictures illustrating steps in waste collection and compost production Figure 4: Cross Scale Analysis Chart Figure 5: Research Timeline Figure 6 : Conceptual framework related to overall compost project Figure 7 : Conceptual framew ork related to overall summer research Table 1: Key interview results Table 2: Key interview results relating to gender Table 3 : Key survey results Image 1: Interviews with business owners Image 2: Image 3: Weekly facil itated discussion Image 4: Educational workshop with Martin Pea from ADELVA Image 5: Workshop with incoming Mayor, Alberto Polanco Image 6: Neighborhood cleanup Image 7: Stakeholder meeting Image 8: Neighborhood workshop Image 9: Bottle tras hcan
5 Abstract I complete d my 10 week research practicum from June through August 2016 in Laguna Salada, one of t hree municipalities that are part of the province Valverde located in the Northwest region of the Dominican Republic. Laguna Salada is one of a few municipalities in the country that has organized a compost pilot project in an attempt to combat its growing solid waste problem The project is ic Fertilizer from Solid Waste and my research practicum focused on completing a needs assessment for the project along with laying groundwork for future project implementation such as beginning collaboration efforts between different stakeholders Before my arrival, I intended to assist this project through education in the community and business outreach efforts. H owever aft e r having arriv ed it became clear that the project was in need of assessing past community outreach and education and implementing a new system to improve community empowerment, monitoring, and evaluation after its first attempt at project implementation lasted for only a few months. T he proj ect was not operating when I arrived due to various factors including unmanageable level s of s olid waste at the compost production facility, miscommunication with municipal waste collection employees, insufficient levels of education and support at the community level, and a transition of municipal government parties. Therefore, my main objectives became to organize a better way of educating and empowering community members, and creating a mon itoring and evaluation plan for the project. Though the project was originally functioning in three pilot neighborhoods, the project had transitioned down to o ne pilot houses. However, I continued to work in two of the pilot neighborhoods My primary deliverable was a needs assessment and a systemized approach o f community organization and empowerment of the waste classification project so that the community members the mselves could manage the project Once the waste classification system is reinitiated under a new municipal government, the intent is that the pro gram will reach high levels of suc cess with organic compost production. With the goal of high compost production the project will be expanded to o ther neighborhoods and in turn create new employment opportunities at the organic compost production plant.
6 Acronyms and Key Word Definitions ADELVA La Agencia de Desarrollo Econmico Local de Valverde APRADELASA Asociacin para el Desarrollo de Laguna Salada MSW Municipal Solid Waste, or residential waste PPS El Programa de Pequeos Subsidios del Fon do para el Medio Ambiente Mundial SIDS Small Island Developing States UNDP United Nations Development Program (PPS is a program within the UNDP in the Dominican Republic country program ) Compost (verb) the process of recycling decomposed organi c materials into a rich soil amendment (adjective) the pro duct once the organic materials are turned into soil amendment ( http://www.recycleworks.org/compost/ ) Acknowledgements My deepest gratitude to the following people who assisted me in my research : Juan Rodriguez the Director of APRADELASA, and his wife, Miranda Sanc hez, who were my fantastic host family parents Martin Pea, ADELVA The municipality employees especially Alberto Polanco, the Mayor of Laguna Sala da Victor Polanco and Alberto Sanchez, UNDP PPS All of the incredible leaders and participants in the neighborhood associations of the neighborhoods La Curva and San Antonio All of the fantastic environmental coordinators who volunteered many hours of th eir time to assist in project organization and my research All of my host family and extended host family who kept a smile on my face even on the hottest of days All of my neighbors o ver the summer Dr. Glenn Galloway, MDP Director Dr. Andrew Noss, MDP Coordinator Dr. Timothy Townsend, Committee Chair Thomas Ankersen, Committee Member D r J o h n Kraft, Committee Member
7 Introduction T he waste classification project, Production of Organic Fertilizer Laguna Salada, Dominican Republic tho ugh only one pilot project in one municipal ity, in one island nation is represent ative of an enormous problem fac ing our planet today: what to do w ith all of the trash we produce? Tons of plastics and other materials find their way into the ocean every d ay due to a lack of sustainable waste management solutions on land It is estimated that 80% of plastics in the ocean today originate on land. 1 There are currently 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean because of the market failure for recycled mate rials we see in communities around the world just like La guna Salada 2 T he community managing the waste classification project is frustrated with its lack of solutions to its growing solid waste problem and is trying to do what it can to clean up it s commu streets, improve health, and minimize the growth of its central dumpsite T ; it is the story of millions of small and large communities around the world that feel they are overwhelmed by their production of solid waste an a solut ion. The same products packaged in glass, metal, and plastic are consumed day in and day out without even a thought of what will happe n to these discarded materials from the corporations that produce them. Laguna Salada is the story of a community that is fighting an uphill battle against cultural mentality, corporate profits over sustainable practice, and un sustainable consumption habits. However, Laguna Salada is also the story of a community that has a vision of creating local e mploym ent opportunities from its waste and is on its way to sustainably implementing a p roject that will begin to turn the tide of how its current and future ge nerations will live more sustainably 1 Greenpeace International accessed N ovember 30, 2016, http://www.unep.org/regionalseas/marinelitter/publications/docs/plastic_ocean_report.pdf 2 National Geographic last modified January 11, 2015, htt p://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/01/150109 oceans plastic sea trash science marine debris/
8 Literature Review Background of Waste Manag ement in the D ominican Republic There are an estimated 354 formal dumpsites in the Dominican Republic today the large majority of which are unmonitored and unregulated for hazardous effects on the surrounding environment and human health. 3 In 2012, the Inter America n Development Bank completed a garbage are produced daily in the country, 81% (5,832 tons) are deposited in open dumps, whi le only 18% (1,368 tons) are sent to contro lled spaces, where it is covered with earth The study counted 212 dumpsites as unregulated 4 With the Dominican Republic having an area of 48,442 square kilometers this means that on average there is a dumpsite every 136 square kilometers. According to the Ministry of Environment, 35% of the waste stream is organics, while 30% is paper, 9% is plastics, and 6% is m etal. 5 Plastic P roblems Though of the total waste produced in the Dominican Republic only 9% is plastic there are more than 10 ,000 tons of P olyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic discarded every month and only 2,400 tons of PET are recovered a month giving a 24% PET plastics recycling r ate. 6 This means that roughly 7,600 tons of PET plastics are sent to the dumps ites o r end up in the ocean every month not including other types of plastics A t the government level there is beginning to be more of a conversation about recycling, however the fact remains that there into the recyclables market to make it profitable Therefore, due to lack of incentives to collect the material in order to sell it along with littering being a cultural norm, plastic bottles and plastics in general litter the ground in Laguna Salada. 3 Diario Libre last modified April 9, 2012, http://www.diariolibre.com/noticias/ un pas con demasia dos vertederos BIDL331321. 4 Diario Libre last modified April 9, 2012, http://www.diariolibre.com/noticias/un pas con demasiados vertederos BIDL331321. 5 Environment Ministry campaign: Reduce, Reuse Dominican Today last modified May 14, 2013, http://www.dominicantoday.com/dr/economy/2013/5/14/47619/Environment Ministry campaign Reduce Reuse Recycle. 6 Diario Libre ., last modified November 17, 2014, http://www.diariolibre.com/noticias/el reciclaje en repblica dominicana mueve ms de us100 millones al ao DIDL885071.
9 Health Problems Related to Waste Management Dengue is a major epidemic in the Dominican Republic. According to the Ministry of Health b etween 2009 and 2012, it was reported annually on average in the region more than a million cases; of which 33,900 were class ified as serious and 835 resulted in death; 2013 being one of the most epidemic years in recent decades, with 2.3 million patien ts affected by the 7 Solid waste act s as a breeding ground for the vectors that c arry these diseases due to disca rded c ontainers filling with wa ter that stands for long periods of time creating breeding conditions According to the Center s for Disease Control and Prevention I n the Western Hemisphere, the Aedes aegypti mosquito is the most important transmitter or vector of dengue 8 According to an article studying the use of discarded solid waste as a breeding ground of the Aedes aegypti mosquito in two different sites in India the solid waste pollution is the major contributing factor in urban and industria l environments for the increase of the population density of the container breeding dengue mosquitoes, thereby causing annoyance as well as posing a severe threat of transmitting dengue virus 9 This paper also explains how the Aedes aegypti mosquito is th rison to other mosquito types 10 In addition to dengue, t he Aedes aegypti mosquito is also one of the two primary carriers of Zika and c hikungunya along with the Aedes albopictus mosquito 11 Both Zi ka and c hikungunya are also common in the Dominican Republic. Employment Relating to Waste Management Four million people are estimated to work in the recycling sector in Latin Amer ica and the Caribbean as independent waste pickers, who are individuals t hat are self employed by 7 El Univer sitario last modified October 15, 2013, https://www.uasd.edu.do/periodico/index.php/el universitario/item/1126 facultad de salud uasd organiza foro sobre dengue prevencion diagnostico y tratamiento. 8 CDC accessed July 15, 2016, http:// www.cdc.gov/dengue/fAQFacts/index. 9 Journal of Environmental Biology 20, no. 4 (1999): 343. 10 Journal of Environmental Biology 20, no. 4 (1999): 343. 11 CDC accessed July 30, 2016, http://www.cdc.gov/zika/about/index.html.
10 collecting and selling recyclable materials 12 According to the organization Avina, which focuses Although these workers (independent waste pickers ) are the foundation of the recycling industry value chain, recovering between 50% and 90% of recyclable materials used by the industry or exported from the region, they only receive an estimated 5% of the earnings 13 One way to overcome the challenges o f open waste dumps and socio economic issues fac ed by independent waste pickers is to support and develop businesses that increase collection of recyclable materials and organic waste used for composting to produce soil amendment These practices employ pe ople, providing them with better wages and better protection from hazards in the work place Food Waste and Composting Projects in Deve loping Countries T he average percentage of food waste (FW) composition of municipal solid waste (MSW) is between 50 % 55 % in the majority of developing countries. 14 It is estimated that the amount of FW per capita is roughly half comparing developed to deve loping countries being 107 kg/year compared to 56 kg/year. 15 According to the Population Re ference Bureau 1.2 billion people live in high income countries while 6 .2 b illion people live in low and middle income countries. 16 Despite these FW differences per c apita and population difference s developing countries produce roughly the overall same amount of FW annually being 670 million tons (high income countries) versus 630 million tons (middle and low income countries) 17 12 IRR accessed February 2, 2016, http://inclusiverecycling.com/irr/. 13 IRR accessed February 2, 2016, http://inclusiverecycl ing.com/irr/. 14 Waste Management 29 (2009): 915 923, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0956053X08001669 15 Thi N.B. Dung Biswarup Sen, Chin Chao Chen, Gopalakrishnan Kumar and Chiu Energy Procedia 61 (2014): 307 312, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1876610214029439 16 Population Reference Bureau, accessed February 15, 2017 http://www.prb.org/Publications/Datasheets/2016/2016 world population data sheet.aspx. 17 FAO a ccessed February 15, 2017 http://www.fao .org/3/a i4068e.pdf.
11 More than 90% of FW in developing cou ntries is sent to dumpsites while 1% 6% is composted. 18 Du e to the amount of FW that is sent to dumpsites, there are many problems relating to overall effects on human and environmental health such as from poor air quality produced from smoldering solid w aste at the dumpsites due to high temperatures from decomposing organic matter FW decomposing at dumpsites can also contribute greatly to climate change. A study done in the United Kingdom proved that one metric ton of FW could produce more than the equiv alent of 3.8 metric tons of carbon dioxide. 19 There are many reasons contributing to the low level of FW recycling in developing countries including lack of incentive based participation and legislation. 20 In addition, due to poor separation of organic waste the composting market is weak, and FW composts need to compete with various chemical fertilizers that cause dilemmas for the operations and investments of composting facilities 21 Public Private Partnerships Sm all islan d developing states ( SIDS ) often face challenges in growing business opportunities due to their geographical size and nature. However incorporating public private partnerships can overc ome some of these challenges at the local and international levels. Wh en it comes to waste management and those business es profiting from waste management such as composting or materials recycling, a strong multi stakeholder approach is a critica l concept to use when expanding these businesses. With this approach governmen t civil society and the private sector can all work together towards a common goal and each play a role in that 18 Thi N.B. Dung Gopalakrishnan Kumar, and Chiu Yue Lin, Journal of Environmental Management 157 (2015): 220 229, http://www.scienc edirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301479715300256. 19 WRAP (2010), accessed February 15, 2017, http://www.wrap.org.uk/sites/files/wrap/Waste%20arisings%20in %20the%20supply%20of%20food%20and%20dri nk%20toUK%20households,%20Nov%202011.pdf 20 P. Suchada Asian Institute of Technology (2003), http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.538.2025&rep=rep1&type=pdf. 21 Thi N.B. Dung Gopalakrishnan Kumar, and Chiu Yue Lin, Jo urnal of Environmental Management 157 (2015): 220 229, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301479715300256.
12 particular business establishment 22 However, one major factor that is commonly overlooked in recycling type public and private partnership bus inesses is the cost of transport. As many islands are remote and isolated from the world's major markets, transport costs to and from and within th e SIDS are among the highest in the world. In view of the higher transaction costs, their focus should be on high value products and services for international trade, and domestic production of agriculture and industrial products that can contribute to reduce the cost of imports 23 One example of a public private partnership is an NGO called Cans 4 Kids in the Bahamas, which uses donations of cans from businesses and other providers to sell back to the recyclables market and in return is paid a profit for those materials that goes back to a youth and educatio n foundation 24 Another great example of a public private partnership is in the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil where the municipal government is hiring recycling cooperatives to sort their recyclable s 25 Private Business Partnerships In addition to public private approaches, private sector relationships a nd partnerships are also extremely important to SIDS. These private sect ors can include regional businesses local businesses the global private sector and busines s leaders 26 However, in order for the private sector partnerships to fulfill their potentia l, strong policy solutions need to be active. One way is through in country government policy, such as governments providing subsidies or credit for those companies that make an effort to make their waste stream more sustainable. Another solution is thro ugh business partners such as international companies who make business policy decisions such as to use local recycling cooperatives to decrease the company waste stream. These policy solutions will ideally encourage more private partnerships and also incr ease business benefits. The third international conference on small island developing states 22 ips in Small Island Developing UN OHRLLS Summer 2014, http://un ohrll s.org/fostering private sector partnerships in small island developing states/. 23 ips in Small Island Developing UN OHRLLS Summer 2014, http://unohrll s.org/fostering private sector pa rtnerships in small island developing states/. 24 PSA Bahamas l ast modified November 7, 2013, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCQgNI9anRk 25 Cidade de So Paulo ocupa pos io pioneira em reciclagem de Prefeitura de Sao P aulo accessed September 14, 2015, http://www.prefeitura.sp.gov.br/cidade/secretarias/servicos/noticias/?p=175555 26 ips in Small Island Developing UN OHRLLS Summer 2014, http://unohrll s.or g/fostering private sector partnerships in small island developing states/.
13 took place in 2014 and focused on the theme of small island sustainable development through strong partnership s At the conference, member states identified six cl usters of priority areas, one of which being waste m anagement 27 Education About the E n vironment and R ecycling One reason that solid waste management is a large challenge in many locations around the world is that there are many opportunities to improve education around the topic. O ne study done in the UK on the willingness to participate in a curbside recycling program showed that attitude was affected by opportunities to recycle, knowledge about recycling, and facilities that enhance recyc ling efforts. Other factor s that were large contributor s were issues relating to the actual act of recycling, for example space, inconvenience of recycling and time re quired to recycle 28 In addition there has also been much research done on messaging an d communication about recycling. In an article written about the psychological and basic behavior al reasons behind recycling and reducing waste, it was found that the use of communication and media affected the behavior of recycling. For example, "watching news on TV or reading scientific publications, as well as having books at home promoted reuse or recycling practices. Presumably, those communication media can situate sources of environmental procedural information (i.e. how to conserve) and of motivatio n for conserving environmental resourc es 29 One article discussing the effectiveness of public service announcements (PSA) describes how sometimes PSAs are ineffective because they say that the problem is not normal but is also widespread. This reference to the widespread nature of the problem conveys to the public that the majority of people are doing it and therefore, the act is socially acceptable. In contrast, he makes a point that PSAs should instead talk about what is socially acceptable. The author also emphasizes that public service announcements are also often heard at times when the action is 27 SIDS Partnerships Briefs UN DESA accessed September 15, 2016, https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.php?page=view&type=400&nr=1359&men u=1515 28 Michele Tonglet, Paul Phillips and Adam Read theory of planned behaviour to investigate the determinants of recycling behaviour: a ca se study from Brixworth, Resources, Conservation and Recycling 41 (2004) : 191 214, http://www.sc iencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921344903001629. 29 Victor Corral of waste control practices in northern Mexico: a Resources, Conservation and Recycling 39, no. 3(2003) : 265 281, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921344903000326.
14 not taking place. In turn, he makes a point that people need a way of being exposed to the public service announcement at the actual moment of the incident occurring to make a stronger connection to the messagi ng 30 Location Background income country, with the largest economy of Central America and the Caribbean. The country has weathered the global economic crisis well an d in 2010 experienced one of the highest growth rates 31 The Dominican Republic shares the same island land mass with Haiti (Figure 1) and has a population of 10.41 million and a GDP of $6 4.14 billion. 32 Laguna Salada is one of the municipalit ies in the province of Valverde situated in the N orthwest of the Dominican Republi c (Figure 2) Laguna Salada has 23,962 people and has an unemployment rate of 15%. 33 The commercial, service, and agricultural sectors are the most economically important are as. There is a low income population of 51% and the population affected by extreme poverty is 1 0.5% 34 According to the Human Development Provincial Index (HDIp) which shows how the different provinces in the Dominican Republic compare against the other, L aguna Salada ranks 19 th out of 31 provinces with an HDIp of 0.44 8 The HDIp looks at four categories based on life expectancy, literacy, individual GDP and is a statistic based out of 1 35 The percentage of people who are literate over the age of 15 years o ld is 84.5 % 36 30 Robert Crafting Norma tive Messages to Protect the Environment Current Directions in Psychological Science 12, no.4 (2003): 105 109, doi: 10.1111/1467 8721.01242. 31 The World Bank, accessed January 26, 2016, http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/dominica nrepublic. 32 The World Bank, accessed January 26, 2016, http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/dominicanrepublic 33 Victor Polanco, Fermin Ovalle, and Juan Rodriguez rnal Document (2015), accessed August 5, 2015. 34 FMAM, SGP, and UNDP Internal Document (2012), accessed January 30, 2016. 35 UNDP accessed January 28, 2016, http://www.do.undp.org/ 36 UNDP accessed January 28, 2016, http://www.do.undp.org/
15 Figure 1: Map of Dominican Republic Figure 2: Map of Laguna Salada Background of Project In th e Dominican Republic there are more than 150 municipalities and of those less than 10 have a waste separation system in place to sort between organic and inorganic waste O ne of these municipalities is Laguna Salada Laguna Salada has been preparing over t he last four years to implement a waste separation system where the organic waste is separated from the inorganic waste in order to bring the organic waste to a small compost production plant the municipality
16 has constructed with project funds (Figure 3) The compost will then be sold back to local agricultural businesses such as the large banana plantations that are found throughout the province of Valverde Of the solid waste generated in Laguna Salada, 60 to 70 percent is org anic waste 37 Figure 3: Pictures illustrating steps in compost collection and production Cross Scale and Cross Disciplinary Analysis During my practicum I had the advantage of working with multiple stakeholders at a variety of levels rangi ng from the residential level to the national program level (Figure 4) The stakeholder s that I work ed with the most were the residents that played a major part in affecting project success levels. A different scale stakeholder that I worked with w ere the two nongovernm ental organizations one of these was ADELVA ( La Agencia de Desarrollo Econmico Local de Valverde ) which was a n organization that worked at the provincial level, contributing to projects across the province of Valverde The other nongovernm ental organization was APRADELASA ( Asociacin para el Desarrollo de Laguna Salada) which worked at the municipal level to promot e community development initiatives. On a municipal level, I worked with the incoming mayor of Laguna Salada with in the compost project, helping him to begin outreach to the resid ents he would be working with once his term began in the middle of August. Lastly I was in contact with the national UNDP PPS program office 37 rnal Docu ment (2015), accessed August 5, 2015. Organic waste separation in houses Organic waste collection by municipal employees Organic waste taken to compost production facility where it is turned into compost
17 program fu nd El Programa de Pequeos Subsidios del Fondo para el Medio Ambiente Mundial) which gave almost 50% funding to the compost initiative. In my last day in country I presented my results to the UNDP program office and gave them my key insights into project recommendations. It was very interesting wor king with these different stakeholders due to their interests in the project and abilities to g ive different types of input about improvements in the project. While working with the new mayor, I saw his passio n for c ontinuing the old project. Though he had not taken office and therefore could not implement the project he seemed very optimistic and willing to continue the project once he was in office. ADELVA w as a major driving factor in the implementation o f the initial compost project. Therefore due to their vision of success of the project it had been able to be funded by the UNDP PPS and in turn, all project infrastructure was in place. In regards to the NGO APRADELASA they too had a large part to pl ay in the project implementation. This NGO assisted with the important selection of the pilot neighborhoods that the project would take place in and were again a driving factor in selecting methods and key people in neighborhood outreach. T he neighborh ood associations and residents were the key players in the potential success or failure of the project. Without the residents complying with project goals, the project would not be a success. Lastly the UNDP PPS played a major financial role in the project due to giving and financing the construction of the compost production facility key to project implementation The UNDP PPS also helped with the role of project planning and timelines. These project plans h elped organi initial thoughts and roles in community organizing around waste separation. Level Stakeholder Role in Project National Level UNDP PPS Provided 50% program funding Gave project guidance and goal orientation Regional Level Municipal Go vernment Mayor and Waste Collection Employees Gave project funding Collected organic waste ADELVA Gave initial project idea and support, was driving force APRADELASA Gave project support and outreach on the ground
18 Household Level Re sidents In charge of complying with project goals Neighborhood Associations Played role in project outreach to residents Figure 4: Cross Scale Analysis Chart In terms of operating a cross disciplinary project, the project has been envisioned to affect a range of disciplines including the improvement of solid waste management benefitting agricultural businesses with rich compost. In addition, with less waste being sent to landfill there will also be less leachate penetrating groundwater sources and impr oving environmental health which in turn affects human health. Timeline of Past Municipal Compost Project 2012 The idea of the municipal compost project was created by ADELVA in February 2012 who discussed the idea with APRADELASA to select three pilot neighborhoods: La Curva, San Antonio, and Las Flores, cons isting of roughly 1,000 households These neighborhoods were selected due to the large amount of tree canopy cover and therefore the large amount of leaves that could contribute to the compost mat erial and its key carbon source Discussions were then held between the neighborhood associations of the pilot neighborhoods and the mayor and they agreed the compost project was something the community wanted to inv est in The official presentation of the idea was given to UNDP PPS in 2012. The documentation of the project was completed in April 2012 and in June of 2012, PPS granted permission to give funding for infrastructure implementation In December 2012, the project began the phase of education and outreach to schools and community about the upcoming waste separation project 2013 In February 2013, construction of the compost plant was completed over the following four months. In ad dition, three different site visits were made at functioning recyclin g projects during 2012 and 2013. In April 2013, there was a one day course given on recycling for members of neighborhood associations in the pilot neighborhoods During April of 2013, employees of ADELVA and Vctor Polanco of PPS conducted training s in th e local ele mentary school and during a project orientation in the pilot neighborhoods. There were three educational courses
19 offered to residents in each of the pilot neighborhoods. During these workshops, both general education was given about the problems associated with solid waste along with information about the specific separation that needed to happen in each house. In Aug ust of 2013, the project invested in a wood chipper that would serve to cut woody organic waste. However, the company hired to deli ver the wood chipper did not have a specific part for it and the refore the project was delayed for 11 months waiting for the part to arrive 2014 During the 11 months, specific people were selected to help with neighborhood coordination sacks for reside ntial waste separation were purchased, and orientation to the future compost production plant employees wa s given In October, s acks for separation of organic and in organic waste we re distributed among the houses w ith the assistance of 60 students In each house, two larg e burlap sacks were distributed for a tota l of 2,000 sacks distributed and leaving 400 extra When the sacks were distributed, each house was also given a brochure explaining the separation along with a large sticker to place in the front of each house that stated that the house was separating. In June of 2014 the wood chipper part arrived and in November of 2014 the organic waste co llection and compost production began However, in December of 2014 the two compost production facility emp loyees left. 2015 In Janu ary of 2015, the wood chipper was damaged and in February it was repaired and two new employees began working at the facility However, in March of 2015 the project stopped functioning once again due to the wood chipper once again falling into disrepair and disorganization of waste separation at the residential and collection levels. 2016 In January of 2016, a thorough business plan was published, written in collaboration between UNDP PPS, ADELVA, and APRADELASA and explained how and where the compost will be sold once it is produced. Project Funding T he planning and fund ing preparations for the project took three years beginning in 2012. Initially the UNDP PPS ga ve part of the initial project funding of RD$1,888,504 ($40,732 USD ) while other community organizations including APRADELASA and ADELVA gave
20 RD$2,303,817 ($49,689 USD ). 38 The budget went towards constructing the small compost production facility, buying the 2,4 00 sacks, and bu ying promotional materials such as brochures for the project. The budget also went towards the salary of the two employees and one security guard at the compost facility. T he actual project was only in practice for three months before it came to a pause Background of Research Victor Polanco from the UNDP program office, PPS, initially recruited me to complete research on this project He is the manager of the project from the UNDP program office and was concerned due to the lack of compost production fr om this project that the UNDP PPS had given nea rly half of the project funds for project construction. Therefore, Victor saw an opportunity for me to complete research into why the project was not producing compost and recommendations on ways to improve co mpost production. Once I arrived at site and was informed that the project was no longer operating and had not been oper ating for a long period of time, I first collected information on reasons why the project had struggled to be a success during its sho rt implementation. In turn, I decided to complete 31 interviews from storeowners in order to gain access to personal accounts of the in the community. In addition to these formal interviews, I also completed more than 200 brief hou se visits where I continued to build the historical accounts from residents. After these two forms of research investigation I felt as though I thoroughly understood the primary opportunities to improve the project. I then began to assist the community i n building a new system of environmental coordinators who would act as the primary outreach network of the new project model, managing monitoring and evaluation of the project. To better understand the environmental background of the environmental coordin ators, they received a survey asking about previous environmental courses. These selected coordinators also had weekly capacity building meetings for a month. During the last few weeks of my 38 FMAM, SGP, and UNDP Internal Document (2012), accessed January 30, 2016.
21 practicum I carried out the majority of my stakeholde r meetings i n an effort to encourage collaboration among all the participating groups including the incoming mayor. Research Timeline Figure 5 : Research T imeline Conceptual Framework Related to Overall Compost Project Figure 6 : Conceptual framework related to overall compost project This conceptual framework demonstrates the process of the municipal compost project. The framework first illustrates how separated organic matter is picked up from individual houses, initially having taken place in thre e pilot neighborhoods which in time just became the neighborhood of La Curva in or der to downscale the project po tentially increasing success levels. Next the collection trucks brought the separated organic waste to the compost production facility January April: Literature Review June 13 17: Met key stakeholder groups June 18 24: Completed interviews June 25 July 2: Completed 200+ house visits July 3 July 10: Created environmental coordinator groups July 11 July 31: Had weekly coordinator meetings August 1 August 15: Held majority of stakeholder meetings August 16 August 21: Analyzed data
22 where it was manage d and turned into compost Lastly, the compost in theory will have been sold to local banana pla ntations and those revenues would have gone back to the operation costs of the compost production facility. Below, the conceptual framework illustr ates what each stakeholder contributed to. This framework shows that the UNDP PPS gave the majority of its funding towards the construction of the compost production facility. T he local NGOs and the municipal government contributed to all aspects of the pr oject including residential outreach and materials, waste collection trucks and employee salaries, operations at the compost production facility, and relations with the banana plantations that will purchase the composted soil. Conceptual Framework Relate d to Summer Research Figure 7 : Conceptual framework related to summer research This conceptual framework illustrates the strong focus of my work dealing with group facilitation and organization. In the center of the diagram is a circle represe nting my work which directly dealt with the neighborhood coordinators who in turn dealt with the neighborhood residents The circle around all of these triangles represents the orga nizational stakeholders who managed and contributed to the compost product ion project. Also, demonstrated in each corner
23 of the triangle is a critical aspect of the project; one corner represents organic waste separation, the other corner represents environmental education, and the last corner represents monitoring of individual households to incr ease project success levels related to organic waste separation. Research Methodology Activities Interviews I b egan my research by selecting 31 business owners of which 11 were men and 20 were women I decided to interview business ow ners because I wanted to sample people that were both home owner residents but also could assist in communicating with other residents about the efforts to begin the organic separation project again. These 31 businesses made up the majority of businesses t hat were found in the pilot neighborhoods. The businesses ranged from small and large neighborhood general stores, hai r salons, bars, Internet cafes food producers, agricultur al distributors, and banks. In order to have a better means of spatially separat ing my sampling, I interviewed business owners that were found throughout the pilot neighborhoods as opposed to the businesses that were concentrated along the main highway that goes through the middle of Laguna Salada. There was a large age range of busin ess owners, with the youngest being 17 and the oldest being 65. I nterviews were conducted in the two pilot neighborhoods of La Curva and San Antonio to question household s about the previous waste separation project. These two neighborhoods were selected because La Curva is the neighborhood that the project had been narrowed to in its house. Tho ugh I had drafted initial interview questions before I arrived, I edi ted those questions once in country with my host dad, Juan Rodriguez, who was also the director of my host organization APRADELASA Juan assisted in clarifying the questions and making them more suitable for capturing information about the past compost pro ject. In the interviews there were a total of 14 questions asked that were intended to give results in order to better understand both residents compliancy levels in the waste separation program and also the amount of involvement and outreach that was ext ended to residents.
24 House Visits I then completed more than 200 house visits where I explained wh o I was and how the project would begin again in the coming year In addition, I knowledge and understanding of the previous c ompost project. One aim of the house visits was to learn through casual conversation the opinions of the resid ents about the compost program. If the residents seemed confused about separation I also would educate them about separation compliancy and the g oals of the project. During the house visit s, many residents expressed not only frustration in the project but also hope that it could be a success. I was also able to observe overall neighborhood infrastructure and public solid waste sanitation such as the high amount of littering in the neighborhoods and complete lack of public trashcans. I was escorted by some of the neighborhood association leaders who in troduced me to the homeowners. I visit ed all of the houses in the pilot neighborhoo ds of La Curva and San Antonio. However, not all homeowners were in the ir house s so though I visited all of the houses in these neighborhoods I was not able to talk with all homeowners. I completed these house visits over a week completing roughly 40 house visits a day b y walking. Image 1: Interviews with business owners Environmental Education S urvey I also applied a small survey to 14 of the 30 environmental coordinators during one of the me etings for the coordinators (discu ssed under Outreach Activities) to better understand their education and interest level in dealing with environmental issues. I found that 8 of the 14 coordinators surveyed had no previous experience with environmental education classes The environmental coordinators were selected by the neighborhood association leaders and will be the core outreach team of individuals once the program is re implemented. For this reason, it was important to understand these coordinators background s in terms of environment al background so as to find ways of improving it so that they could be better prepared to serve as team leaders.
25 Seven women and seven men completed the surveys and each survey consisted of five questions. There was apparently some apprehension in taking the survey due to the fact that all 30 of the environmental coordinators claimed they had completed the survey, while in reality only 14 actually completed it. However, because the surveys were anonymous it was impossible n the survey. Community Maps Community maps were completed to map out where the different house groups were located that were used to separate the neighborhoods into an organized outreach system. In addition to helping separate the neighborhood into smal l segments of houses, the maps also illustrated which environmental coordinators were in charge of educating and monitoring different neighborhood segments. I dr ew out the maps while walking around the neighborhoods. In the future these maps will ideally b e used as an important tool for project coordination Results Data Interviews and House Visits The questions below generated the most important results. From this sample size it was apparent that nearly half the group was not separating their waste duri ng the project along with a third of the group reporting they did not receive any information about the project or what needed to happen in terms of separation. These needs came out in the open question about program improvements where more than two thirds of the group responded that the project needed improved education with residents Interview Questions # of Yes # of No 20 11 30 1 17 14 20 11 19 12
26 Question about opinions of participants More education 23 Improved organization 2 Better collection 4 Improved quality of separation sacks 2 Table 1: Key interview results Table illustrating how many male s and females knew difference between organic and inorganic was te Males Females 1. Number of p eople who understoo d the difference between organic and inorganic waste 8 12 Number of people who did not understan d the difference between organic and inorganic waste 3 8 2. Number of people separating organic from inorga nic waste 3 11 Number of people not separating organic from inorganic waste 8 9 3. Number of people who reported having received educational outreach about the compost pilot project 6 13 Number of people who repor ted not having received educational outreach about the compost pilot project 4 7 Table 2: Key interview results relating to gender
27 Survey Results The key results below from the surveys given to the environmental coordinators about their environmental background shows that the majority of people did not have previous courses about the environment but had a high level of interest in the environment. What is your level of interest in the environment? High Level Medium Level Low Level 11 people 2 people 1 person No Classes 1 5 Classes 6 10 Classes 8 people 5 people 1 person Table 3 : Key survey results Results Analysis Between these 3 1 interviews and the more than 200 house visits a c lear picture was presented in terms of project issues and constraints. These issues were consistently brought up among residents as being confusion by the residents and lack of follow up with program implementation efforts. In addition, many residents repo rted that the municipal collection employees were combining all separated waste in the waste collection vehicles. Lastly, many residents also reported issues relating to the burlap collection sacks that were distributed in all of the houses M any residents complained that the sacks were easily damaged, dirtied or were not redistributed after collection. For the environmental coordina tors, it was shown that the large majority of the group had a high level of interest in environmental issues, demonstratin g that the neighborhood association that advised in the selection of the coordinators had a thorough knowledge of the participants interest background. However, through this survey it also illustrated that more than half of the group had no t participated in courses about the e nvironment and for those who had some coursework the previous classes had mainly pertained to the courses on solid waste management
28 Situational Analysis The area of solid waste in Laguna Salada has had little research and resources invested into it. In addition, there are no municipal recycling programs in the province of Valverde where Laguna Salada is located. All of the solid waste from Laguna Salada is currentl y dispo sed o f in one central dumpsite which is unmonitored for related surrounding environmental degradation and unlined (Figure 7) Without a protective lining method, t here are no protective measures made in terms of toxic leachate going into the ground water under neath the dumpsite area. D uring the months of high sun exposure organic material becomes extremely hot and many of the plastics become overheated and begin to smolder, giving off large amounts of toxic fumes. This toxic air also leads to an un healthy environment for independent waste pickers who could potentially recover recyclable materials Image 2 : Lag Opportunities for Improved Communication Between Different Stakeholders One of the biggest opportunitie s that I found through my research was the need for improved communication among the different stakeholders. Though the initial project was thoroughly planned it has a need to implement some key components that would have increased success levels. The beg inning stages of the project were executed well in terms of the selection of the neighborhoods and initial educational orientation of the project. However, the project lacked aspects of community empowerment and follow up. After the initial three workshops in
29 each neighborhood, educational outreach stopped and there was no orientation given to the municipal waste collection em ployees This created the key challenges of the collection system. Due to the fact that many people ps offered in the beginning of the project, many house holds understand what was being asked or why. For the people who were separating, at times they s aw the waste collectors comingling all of their waste back together again once it was picked up T he refore ruining any efforts residents had made in the house to separate their solid waste. Then at the compost plant, because all of the waste arrived in one pile, the two employees working in the plant could not separate out all of the organic from inor ganic waste from the three pilot neighborhoods. In turn, this resulted in an extremely slow process of waste separation, which eventually came to a stop after only three months. Key Challenges from Previous Project During a workshop with the environment al coordinators (discussed under Outreach Activ ities), a group discussion was held to determine what the main areas of needed improvement were from the previous project. During this conversation the main areas that were discussed were: 1. Lack of educatio n and outreach in the community 2. Poor solid waste collection practices due to lack of education with municipal waste employees 3. Lack of community involvement and integration in waste separation project 4. Poor quality of sacks used for waste separation 5. Confusion about the classification of waste 6. Lack of municipal human and financial resources to manage project 7. Lack of waste management regulations Outreach A ctivities Selection of Environmental Coordinators I n order to fix outreach and educat ion, community integration, and community advocacy for t he waste separation program, neighborhood environmental teams were created where the houses in each neighborhood were placed into a group of 20 25 houses Each group then had one to two environmental coordinators supporting each group. The selection process of
30 ader for the classification project These coordinators will have the job of going to their assigned 10 15 houses and clarifying any conc erns the household residents have about the project along with monitor ing each house to make sure residents are complying with the separation project on a monthly basis After th e project begins again this spring the coordinators will also be able to assist in the evaluation process of how much orga nic waste is being collected from each house. Weekly Facilitated D iscussions Dur ing my practicum I facilitated three weekly worksho p s in the neighborhood of La Curva for the coordinators along with one workshop in the neighborhood of San Antonio D uring the first workshop we had a general discussion with participants about ways that they could reduce their consumption including usin g less plastic bags when buying items in a store and instead either carrying the item in hand or carry ing a cloth reusable bag. There was also a discussion about advocating against littering since in the neighborhood s littering is so common that people a re rarely corrected when they litter. A reflective discussion was utilized in order to raise awareness of how material objects used for consumption purposes has changed. For example, 20 years ago plastic bags were introduced in the community instead of pap er bags. However, plastic bags require an exponential amount of additional time to break down compared to paper. T herefore, people need to also change their mentality about using plastic bags. During the second workshop the job of the coordinators was d i scussed further and we also had an in depth discussion of how the coordinators will facilitate discussions inside the houses. In addition, a group discussion was carried out on why the previo us implementation of the classification project had struggled to be a success. During the workshop in the neighborhood San Antonio, the coordinators discussed further areas of the past project that needed improvement They also disc ussed the importance of having a meeting with the incoming mayor and a separate meeting with ADELVA to discus s separation clarification. There was also an in depth conversation about having sacks or plastic tanks in the houses for classification. During the third workshop in La Curva the coo rdinators briefly discussed the itemized agenda o f the upcoming meeting with the incoming mayor. Lastly it was discussed how the
31 coordinators would make their first educational rounds in the houses and the coordinators decided to instead have a large educational meeting of the entire neighborhood during which each house hold would send one resident to make sure that all of the houses were accounted for. The coordinators also decided that there was too much co nfusion with waste classification in the houses and that they needed to have a workshop themselves on how to separ ate the different types of waste with ADELVA Image 3: Weekly facilitated discussion Educational W orkshop G iven by ADELVA During t his meeting with ADELVA to discuss and clarify waste separation issues, I became aware of the confusion w ith classification Though the project only provided two sacks in each house for organic and inorganic waste, in reality the project is asking for separation among three different sacks; one for organic waste one for reusable in organic waste and one for non reusable inorganic waste. Therefore, ADELVA clarified that they wanted the houses to provide the third sack for non reusable inorganic waste Image 4: Educational worksh op with Martin Pea from ADELVA
32 Workshop and Forum with Incoming Mayor and Coo rdinators After the workshops were given to t he coordinators and the areas of needed improvement of the previous project were outlined, it was decided that a workshop and forum needed to occur with the environmental coordinators and the incoming mayor to discu ss each area in need of improvement During the discussion, the mayor responded to each area with the following response: With the assistance of the coordinators, there will be an improved education system in place in each household. The collection of the trash will take place at ni ght due to a lower accident pro b ab ility with the trash truck because there is less traffic at night along with the fact that the employees will be more comfortable at night due to decreased temperatures Before only two sacks were given to each h ouse but the new project will distribute four sacks to each home: two sacks will be collected each week and two will remain in the house. There will be a thorough orientation process given to the municipal solid waste collection employees. Better quality sacks will be given to each house The waste will arrive separated at the compost plant The project will begin again in October 2016 (however, plans changed to start again in spring of 2017). Image 5: Workshop with incoming Ma yor, Alberto Polanco
33 Neighborhood C leanups and Facilitated Discussion between Organizational Stakeholders Another part of the community integration and education implementation was various neighborhood cleanups ; a total of four with two in each of the tw o neighborhoods I was working in. There was also a meeting held between the i ncoming mayor, AD ELVA, APRADELASA, and leaders of the neighborhood association. This meeting was held to give any final clarification of project plans for the reinitiation in Octo ber such as whether sacks or tanks would be used in the houses and how the organic waste would be collected such as a separate collection route just for the organic waste. Image 6: Neighborhood cleanup Ima ge 7: Stakeholder meeting Neighborhood Educational W orkshop This larg e workshop was held to explain to the community about the reinitiation of the waste classification project During this workshop a resident from each house in La Curva was invited to att end the meeting The meeting was hosted by APRADELASA, ADELVA, and the municipal government in order to explain a clear path the project would follow and to clarify points of confusion relating to waste separation to the residents. Image 8: Neighborhood workshop
34 Practicum Deliverables Needs Assessment One of the most critical deliverables was a needs assessment of the compost pilot project. The main reason for my summer practicum was developing this tool so that when the pilot project is reimplemented in the future it will have a higher level of success. The opportunities for improvement and needs of the compost pilot project are discussed thoroughly in this report. Sy s temized Community I ntegration The primary deliverable I developed is a systemized method of community integration and empowerment. As explained previously, the pilot neighborhoods are now separated into groups of 20 25 houses that are continuously supported by their group environmental coordinators. Th e information about the coordinato r leaders and the houses they are supporting was entered into an Excel spreadsheet which will serve as the first steps towards a larger database that can be expanded and edited, managed by APRADELASA and the municipal government. The env ironmental coordina tors attended workshops on environmental education, the classif ication of waste, and outline d areas of needed improvement from the previous project. Therefore, the ultimate goal of educating and empowering the coordin ators is that they will play a critical role in supporting the classification project once it begins again. During the project, the coordinators will also need to be supported through continuous environmental educational classes from APRADELASA, ADELVA, and the municipal government to help supp ort education al efforts directed to house hold s. An incentive such as a monthly food stipend to help keep the coordinators motivated is still being discussed. Monthly Neighborhood Cleanups Another deliverable was the initiation of monthly neighborhood cl eanups that will be organized by the environmental coordinators. These neighborhood cleanups serve d a few purposes. One purpose is to clean the streets of the large amount of trash that will either serve as breeding grounds for vectors or end up in the oce an. The other reason is to show case to the neighborhood the message that people in the community care about its cleanliness.
35 Public Trash Cans During my practicum after a few discussions about the need for public trashcans, the b donated two new public trashcans to o ne of the pilot neighborhoods. Community members and myself also completed the construction of a trash can made from plastic bottles to show how to build trashcans with recycled materials. This trashcan was presented a t the neighborhood environmental workshop and to the incoming mayor in the hope that other similar models will be produced by the community to serve as public trashcans. Image 9: Bottle trashcan Limitations One major limitation to the research was the fact that the project was no longer operating and had not been in operation for several months when I arrived at site. Therefore, all info rmation gathered was based on what people recalled from when the project was taking place as opposed to being able to investigate the actual project in action Another limitation was that when I arrived in early June the outgoing municipal administration was still in place and did not transfer power to the new administration until one week before I left site. In turn, I could not meet with the incoming administration until a few weeks before I left so that realistic and concrete planning efforts could occ ur in stakeholder meetings including the neighborhood associations, residential environmental team leaders, and local NGOs. However, due to the fact that the administration was new it was challenging to implement project timelin es due to the prioritizing of other projects.
36 Top Three Recommendations The top three recommendations for the project that I would make are : 1. Increase residential outreach 2. Increase residential monitoring 3. Integrate municipal collection employees Increase Outreach and Monitoring Though the project was extremely well planned and initially implemented there are a few recommendations I would make in relation to outreach and monitoring. The first recommendation is that the continuous house to house education and outreach throughout the project is critical This is most important only understand the project but also to feel social pressure to change cultural habits dealing with solid waste management. F rom the results shown, it was also apparent that the selected environmental coordinators needed more environmental education so that they could share this environmental knowledge during their outreach activities. A portant that the coordinators are provided classes in outreach and communication to be able to effectively communicate in the households during their monthly outreach and monitoring routes. Another recommendation dealing with residential house visits is a f separating organic waste. F or those houses struggling with participation, research ing the issues behind the low success rates in the house would lead to understanding the underlying factors better an d in theory lend ideas of how to increase separation rates Inclusion of Municipal Collection Employees One major obstacle that was faced in previous project phases was the lack of orientation by municipal waste collection employees who were many times seen reportedly throwing separated waste back into one pile in the collection trucks. Therefore, giving the collection and sorting employees a more active role in the planning stages may help them realize the critical role they play in the success of the project.
37 Additional Recommendations 1. Restructuring of Program Economics and Incentives 2. Use of Woven Baskets as Collection Tools 3. Plastic Bottle and Plastic Bag Legislation 4. Provincial Access to a Recycling Facility 5. Provision of Public Waste Receptacles R est ructuring of Program Economics and Incentives highly recommend implementing a direct incentives program to the residents. Organic waste for food programs are success ful in other cities and I believe Laguna Salada also needs to implement a direct incentives program to motivate residents to separate their organic waste. For example, during collection, residents would exchange with the municipal collection employees orga nic waste for fresh vegetables or fruits to act as an incentive. In addition, I would also recommend the project including Haitian residents more strongly in the program, both in the outreach and in actual implementation of the project. During my summer re search the Haitian immigrant residents were very eager to participate and several times questioned me about potential employment opportunities. Due to the fact that the project has struggled in keeping its employees I would highly recommend offering empl oyment opportunities to Haitian immigrant residents who have difficulties fi nding employment opportunities. In turn, I would increase incentives for project involvement and compliance and hire workers who are eager to have steady employment. Use of Woven Baskets as Collection Tools During the stakeholder meetings it became clear there was a large disagreement between whether to use burlap sacks or plastic tanks with valid arguments on both sides. After much consideration of the arguments, I would recomm end the program using large woven wooden baskets. T hese baskets are not only cheap er tha n plastic tanks, but also will not break if thrown off of the trucks which was one argument against using tanks. However, baskets are also more durable then the burlap sacks and will be easier to clean then the sacks.
38 Plastic Bottle and Plastic Bag Recycling Incentive Legislation One policy option that could serve as a solution for the problem s with the plastic bottles back their used plastic or glass bottle to the retailer to receive a small financial incentive. The consumer in reality is just receiving a refund due to the fact that when a retailer buys beverages from a distributor, a deposit is paid to the distributor for each can or bottle purchased. The 39 In the case of the U.S., there are currently 10 states that have operating bottle bills. 40 Crea ting a bottle bill would put more pressure on these bottling companies to implement corporate social responsibility for the containers they manufacture. The issue with plastics is that the company carries no responsibility for its product once the customer buys it off the shelf However, these plastic bottles take roughly 500 years to decompose. 41 This same concept of a given when consumers use a plastic bag, encouraging the use of reusable bags. Provincial Access to a Recycling Facility Another important recommenda tion is that Laguna Salada needs to find a way to get its plastics to a recycling facility. One major challenge about the plastics is that there is no recycling facility in the province and in turn it would cost the municipalities more money to ship their plastics to these facilities than any financial returns they would receive. Due to the price of plastic being so low and the municipalities in th e province already having low budgets it may not make financial sense for the province to build its own recycling facility. However, many distribution trucks come to Laguna Salada from the larger cities and perhaps there could be a system organized in whi ch these same beverage trucks take the empty plastic containers back after dropping off the new ones at the stores. 39 Container Recycling Institute accessed August 3, 2016, http://www.bottle bill.org/about.htm. 40 Container Recycling Institute accessed August 3, 2016, http://www.bottlebill.org/about.htm. 41 Recycling Guide accessed August 2, 2016, http://www.recycling guide.org.uk/facts.h tml.
39 Provision of Public Waste Receptacles Another minor recommendation I would make is for small and manageable public trashcans to be produc ed and distributed throughout the pilot neighborhoods. One observation made in the pilot communities was the amount of trash on the ground and littering taking place by residents. However, there were extremely few options in terms of disposing of waste due to a lack of public trashcans. Conclusion The biggest issue with the classification project, like so many development projects is lack of coordination and community integration and empowerment within the project. Th erefore, with a syst em ized approach o f community leaders hip and responsibility the community members will now be the advocates and act as a stronger stakeholder in the project and i n turn creat e a sustainable and long term project plan for success. With increased support and compliance of wa ste classification in the households, along with increased education for the municipal waste collection employees, less separation work and more comp ost production will o ccur at the compost production facility meaning there will be an increase in compost sales and revenue to emp loy more people and increase project capacity. The overall future goal is to keep expanding the project into new neighborhoods and keep increasing local employment opportunities through improved waste management. With increased ou treach and education in the community Laguna Salada will not only provide more job creation at the com munity level but also begin to re write its story. It will read : This is a story of how one pilot project, in one municipality, in one island nation, cha nged the ways it dealt with waste management to set an example and acted as a leader for communities in the Dominican Republic and around the world.
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40 Appendix : Survey Results 42 43