Creating Markets for Recyclable Materials: The Case of PeaceCycle in Haiti

Authors: John Bodenman*, Bloomsburg University, Jennifer Haney, Bloomsburg University
Topics: Hazards and Vulnerability, Economic Geography, Business Geography
Keywords: municipal solid waste, Haiti, recycling
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 5:20 PM / 7:00 PM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Municipal solid waste (MSW) generation and disposal has become a significant and growing global problem. Population growth, growing consumerism, lack of publically available disposal services, as well as the general lack of large and steady markets for recyclable materials, particularly for plastics, has exacerbated the waste generation and disposal problem, particularly in poor developing countries like Haiti where plastics have become an exponentially growing component of the waste stream. Generally, waste disposal options exist on a spectrum ranging from open-air dumps to sanitary landfills. In Haiti, the primary disposal site for Port-au-Prince, the country’s largest urban area, is the 160-hectare Truitier open-air dump, located ten kilometers from downtown, and estimated to receive 1,000 tons of waste per day, much of the waste increasingly some form of plastic, putting the environment and health of the population at all ready serious and increasing risk. Numerous challenges exist for effectively addressing the MSW generation and disposal problems in Haiti. This paper outlines a number of these challenges, with a particular interest and focus on the sources, creation, and disposal of plastic waste. The analysis highlights several encouraging recent small business developments that can serve as a model for creating both employment opportunities, as well as markets for recyclable plastic materials—an important step toward helping to address the growing waste generation and disposal problems in Haiti.

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