Our project is realized within the concept of social entrepreneurship. It is a profit generating activity which is self-sufficient and independent. However, profit is not our main goal. There are two other main aims.. The first is to have a positive effect on the local environment by offering a better solution for waste treatment than simple disposal. The second is to enhance economic activity in the region by creating several jobs, both within the plant and in the accompanying activities, and by increasing the revenue from plastic waste in Nepal.
The project´s goals:
Our project intends to improve the solid waste management system in Lalitpur, Nepal by additional and innovative activity - the recycling of plastic material waste. Currently, the municipality
of Lalitpur lacks an efficient system of waste collection and treatment. Waste is not collected everywhere, and more importantly, a large portion of the waste is simply disposed of at river sites, in the streets or at dump sites. This situation has a negative effect on both the local environment and the community as it increases health and environmental hazards.
A ussual way how to get rid of the waste is burning it
The use of plastic products in Nepal is extensive and steadily increasing. That is why plastic waste constitutes a prominent part of the solid waste. Unfortunately, plastic material requires decades for complete decomposition, thus the piles of garbage remain on the streets, river banks and dump sites for ages.
This problematic situation is very well known. Local municipalities and non-governmental and private sector organizations are looking for the best possible solution and are very keen to start improving this situation. One feasible option that eliminates the amount of waste for disposal is recycling. When plastic waste is collected and recycled it will decrease the amount that ends up in public areas, causing various problems. Additionally, if collected, treated in a proper way to improve its quality and mechanically processed, plastic waste becomes a new secondary resource of material. This material can be used in the production of different plastic products by local manufacturers.
Conference organized by local municipality and NGOs finding the solution for plastic waste and polyethylene bags especially
Clean the Streets of Kathmandu“ organized by the municipality
Currently, there is a lack of technology and opportunities to recycle plastic locally. That is why only a very small amount of plastic waste material is collected and reused. The majority of the collected material is sold for a low price to India, where it is processed. In this way Nepal misses out on a cheap resource of plastic material for local production, and has to rely on more expensive imported plastic for production. Cash the Trash fills this gap perfectly by supplying cheap plastic through recycling the abundant waste.
WEPCO and Lucie Pecinkova are working together in Cash the Trash to set up a process of plastic recycling in the Kathmandu Valley. In this way the collected waste can be processed locally, allowing Nepali industries to use plastic waste as a cheap resource for the production of plastic products. In the process of recycling, jobs are created while cleaning the environment and improving conditions for the local population.
The target of our project is the local community of Lalitpur. There are three main groups in this community who will benefit from this project. The first group is made up of households and their plastic waste will be collected and processed in a responsible way. Altogether, they amount to 3300 families in the Kupondol and Sanepa areas of Lalitpur. The second group consists of people who already collect or sell plastic waste or manufacture plastic material, and among them there are 24 plastic pickers already working for WEPCO and its two sister organizations. They will be able to improve their income by selling for better prices and will profit from a steady and increasing demand for their product. Thirdly, our project will create new positions for local people in the collecting, cleaning and recycling process. . Currently unemployed or underemployed people from Lalitpur who can gain employment make up the third group of people who will benefit from this project.
Local women sorting different plastic foils Factory producing plastic pipes from recycled material
Our project is designed and set up within the concept of social entrepreneurship. Therefore, it is a profit generating activity. There is a need for initial financial support for the installation of the recycling process. However, once the recycling process is fully functional no further external investment is needed for its continuity. Once the project is functional, the turnover covers the expenses. This ensures a financially sustainable process of waste management.
The concept of social entrepreneurship has many definitions and applications. Of those, this explanation stands out: the concept of entrepreneurship on one hand and the social aspect on the other.
This project is entrepreneurial because it solves an economic problem; the situation where possible revenue from plastic waste is not utilized locally or at all. By setting up the missing (local) link between plastic waste and companies that can process plastic material into new products, this project creates a new standard for cooperation between NGO’s, the municipality and companies which deal with plastic waste.
The social aspect of this project determines the process and the outcome. The project aims to benefit the local population through creating jobs (process) and increasing general revenue (outcome), it aims to benefit the environment by working in a responsible eco-friendly way (process), and reducing the amount of plastic waste in the environment (outcome). Altogether, this is a social entrepreneurial project.
For the sustainability of the project itself it is important to look at the local partner, WEPCO. This organization has been working in solid waste management for two decades, providing, with its sister organizations, a garbage collection service to the 3300 families in Kupondole and Sanepa.. The organization has extensive experience in waste collection, sorting and recycling. Lucie Pecinkova is cooperating with WEPCO to set up a plastic recycling activity in Lalitpur. However, WEPCO will supply the property for the Cleaning Station and other facilities for the duration of the project. The people from WEPCO are involved in the planning and the decision making process, and play an active role throughout the setting up of this project. When the recycling activity is up and running, this physical and personal investment from WEPCO in the project will ensure that WEPCO is both able and willing to continue to run and develop this project when the involvement from the social entrepreneur, Lucie Pecinkova, is ended.
WEPCO agrees on mutual cooperation with the private recycling companies beforehand, to secure the sale of processed material. Both the companies we cooperate with have long experience in the recycling process.
Virtual design of 4rooms used for plastic waste treatment process in our Cleaning Station