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Freeport Zero Waste Demonstration Project and Educational Program

We will increase the public awareness of the importance of reducing the waste stream by reducing, reusing, recycling and acommunity garden.

Photo of Gail Woon
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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

The Freeport Zero Waste Demonstration Project and Education Program aims to launch a Resource Diversion and Waste Mitigation integrated community based, student led Zero Waste Project. We plan to replicate a Waste Diversion model for a portion of the Freeport Community and other Out Islands and Cays in The Bahamas, in order to showcase a whole-systems approach to waste reduction as a community (year-round residents, second homeowners and visitors). Through a series of activities and local initiatives, we wish to replicate a template that the Hope Town Zero Waste Program started so that other islands in the Bahamas may implement at different levels and scales. The project plan, activities, metrics gathered, lessons learned and outcomes will be shared as Open Source Information through the multiple Knowledge Mobilization (KM) Platforms. The Freeport Zero Waste Project aims to reduce the weight and volume of waste disposed of in the community every year starting at 10% by the end of the first year. By removing 10% of waste that would otherwise be disposed of, decomposed and burned in the landfill, these initiatives will help to reduce the amount of GHG’s released into the atmosphere, chemical toxic contamination leaching into the ground, land based pollution and CO2 emissions from waste hauling vehicles and freight boats. The project aims to encourage food security, through food production and the creation of compost from organic matter removed from the waste stream and composted.
Goals: (1) To address food security as a community by educating community members on how to grow a home garden, to start a home compost and to prevent food waste.
(2) To divert 10% of waste from the Pine Ridge Landfill in the first year. The goal will be to see this percentage increase every year.
(3) To change the behavioral waste diversion and consumption habits within the community and bring awareness about the impact this has
(4) To educate and empower our youth to become leaders.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

The Freeport Zero Waste Demonstration Project and Educational Program will incorporate all 4 R’s (Refuse, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) in a community based, integrated approach that includes students of all ages, year round residents, local businesses, second homeowners and visitors. The Freeport Zero Waste Demonstration Project and Educational Program has the full support of the Bishop Michael Eldon School, Local Organics Limited, the Sustainable Tourism Committee of the Ministry of Tourism, Grand Bahama Nature Tours, The Garden of the Groves, Sanitation Services Co. Ltd., Best Class Enterprise, The Grand Bahama Port Authority Limited, The Bahamas Plastic Movement and Cans for Kids Bahamas. The Project aims to include people of all ages (students, residents, second home owners and tourists). The project is inclusive of all demographics and nationalities present within our community. Our activities will include projects that incorporate people with disabilities.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

EARTHCARE started in September 1988 as a community-based organization which specializes in environmental education based in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island. EARTHCARE will launch a local recycling program in Freeport. The Project is unique because it will be student led. We aim to use compost to build a community Urban Garden for skilled based learning & educational programming and identify the lowest income households on the island to provide fresh produce from each harvest to those in greatest need.To encourage a recycling program by offering recycling depots for aluminum cans, and glass bottles, and encouraging and engaging the community to participate. To launch a community Reusable program for grocery stores and establishments to encourage Reusables in lieu of singles use disposables. To launch a Refusal program for the hospitality industry for plastic bags, cutlery, napkins and condiments in Freeport. To categorize, report, track all reused & donated materials used for activities

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Initial Design: I am exploring the idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it with real users.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

EARTHCARE is an environmental education NGO (non-governmental organization) that works on current environmental issues facing the nation of the Bahamas, and our members visit schools to inform students and teachers about issues affecting the environment. https://www.earthcare.online/ FaceBook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/409117639102223/

Expertise in sector

  • 7+ years

Organization Filing Status

  • Other

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

We want to help mitigate climate change which is negatively affecting our low lying island nation, raise awareness about the quantitative volume of waste the community produces every year. We want to reduce the consumption of single use disposables, by using reusables, this in turn reduces the volume of demand, production of waste, and reduction of the weight of the waste taken to the landfill. We want to involve our community and create recycling opportunities that are not available now.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

Peace is negatively impacted by excessive waste and pollution. Prosperity has been impacted by the severe economic downturn. Planet has been impacted by climate change which has caused our islands to suffer major damage from more intense and more frequent hurricanes. So climate change has impacted our peace, prosperity and planet. When our island is hit directly by the recent superstorms, businesses are closed for many weeks and some of our hotels never re-open. What was once a lucrative, busy tourist destination now looks like a ghost town. Freeport never fully recovered after the back to back megastorms: Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne in 2004. Many who had worked in the hotel industry for their whole lives lost their jobs and some of those are still looking for work. We believe that we can get our community to realize that their actions actually contribute to climate change, and that we can convince them to embrace lifestyle changes that will reduce the amount of GH Gases.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

We will be working with several partners and individuals in the community of Freeport, Bishop Michael Eldon School, Local Organics Limited (LOL), the Sustainable Tourism Committee (STC) of the Ministry of Tourism, Grand Bahama Nature Tours (GBNT), The Garden of the Groves (GG), Sanitation Services Co. Ltd. (SS), Best Class Enterprise (BCE), The Grand Bahama Port Authority Limited (GBPA), The Bahamas Plastic Movement (BPM) and Cans for Kids Bahamas (CK). Students and teachers from BMES will be doing the surveys, weighing the recyclables and compostables to post on the scoreboard. LOL, STC, GBNT, GG, and BPM will be assisting with public workshops on the Urban Garden, composting, seed care, reusable items vs. disposable plastic items. SS, GBPA, BCE, and CK will be assisting us logistically with the recycling of the aluminum cans and glass bottles. EARTHCARE has been working with these entities for many years on various environmental projects such as International Coastal Cleanup.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

Our community has a surplus of young people and older people who are more than ready to work. As stated earlier, our economy has take massive hits from back to back "climate changed hurricanes". We have community leaders and corporate partners who are willing to support and assist with all of the various aspects of the project especially the public workshops. Also we have students to collect data for baseline information on plastic bag, disposable cutlery and condiment usage from businesses.

Geographic Focus

The Freeport Zero Waste Demo Project and E P will be in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, The Bahamas.

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

This project is for 24 to 36 months, however, it is being set up with a view to it sustaining itself after the 2-3 year demonstration period is completed. The Freeport Recycling Program Annual Membership will be the financial engine to ensure the continuation of the project beyond funding. The Membership is a way for community members and establishments to partake in these efforts and for second home owners to contribute to the community with their support as well.

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No
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Attachments (2)

OpenIDEO Application-2.pdf

This is our complete grant application including Implementation Plans and Budgets.

Concept Form for Open IDEO.pdf

This document describes in brief what the project will entail.

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Photo of Hadi Shamieh
Team

Fantastic project! Being an engineering scientist and permaculture designer, I have acquired a lot of knowledge relevant to sustainable waste management. I would love to share my knowledge (and of course nurture it by learning from your experience) in hopes of collaborating for a cleaner future.

My focus on waste management is the application of resources coming from these wastes. I wish you the best of luck for this project and do not hesitate to contact me/ keep me in the loop if it interests you.

With gratitude,
Hadi Shamieh

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