In an effort to join the world in combating global warming, HCDP’s environmental leadership employs a multidimensional approach that is innovative and creative in its implementation. It goes beyond simple waste reduction because it includes a comprehensive educational and outreach component that will influence and encourage the population to adopt a new mindset that incorporates recycling and broader environmental issues. In a country where collectors and redeemers of recyclables are stigmatized, judged and labeled as “poorest of the poor,” or “bottom feeders,” instituting a successful recycling program requires a strong, well supported outreach that includes students, teachers and parents. HCDP in partnership with Ecole Mixte Volonte de Dieu (School Will of God) or COMIVOD has established an intermediary level recycling program in the school based on Waste Wise guidelines and methods for separating plastic, glass, paper and cans.
HCDP has also added a program for used cell phones and ink cartridges to be exchanged for a refund. These guidelines has been translated and posted in HCDP’s website to facilitate training and understanding of the step by step process of recycling. In collaboration with Planet Green Recycle Company - based in Chatsworth, California - HCDP has initially redeemed, for a limited amount, a small quantity of cell phones and ink cartridges the students in Haiti have collected and given to HCDP during a summer 2008 visit there, in addition to other collections from bins placed in arts organizations, churches and businesses here in the US. Through research HCDP has located Tropical Recycling in the country that offers a refund of less than 3 gourdes. The students are then instructed to bring their collection of plastic to the site and HCDP will match their refund dollar for dollar. This program is at school that serves the underprivileged in the capital where a number of students have dropped out for financial reasons.This effort not only encourages more collection, but also it will reduce the amount of throw away water bottles and soft drink containers into the environment. Moreover, money raised through this effort will be mostly allocated to cover tuition fees and school supplies for these students. This is a program with a positive influence on the suppliers as well as it supports their efforts to recover and recycle their products into new products for the market. Tropical Recycling informs HCDP when the school has collected a large quantity of plastic bottles, the company will send a truck to pick up the collection and refund the school for the redeeming value of the collection.
Gourdes (now it is 1 Gourde) per pound for plastic. Overall, in a society where people are accustomed to simply throw away their solid waste into the street, into the rivers, lakes, the ocean, the flooded streets when it rained which in turns clogged the sewage system, destroying roads, and creating a very unsanitary condition. With the people going to the landfill to retrieve recyclables alongside animals in search of food, and the foot traffic dragging back the waste into communities, this program offers the communities and their residents an opportunity to learn to sort out their waste and placing it into separated and identifiable containers for proper disposal.
As a result of HCDP’s promotional effort, students from an afterschool organization near HCDP's home base, Ichabod Crane Middle School's (ICC) Students Against Violating the Earth, or Jr. S.A.V.E, in Valatie, NY have written letters to students of COMIVOD to introduce themselves and to share ideas on recycling, and to also donate their refunds to the school in Haiti in support of this recycling program in that school. This program offers students in both schools, in the US and in Haiti, an opportunity to link their community activity into a global environmental effort, and to enhance their geographical, cultural and environmental awareness of the world they live in. (See letters in English and French: Ichabod Crane Jr. S.A.V.E and Answers from Students of College Mixte Volonte de Dieu or COMIVOD Programme de recyclage)
This is a program that has the potential of expanding into other schools in Haiti as more support and funding is obtained. Institution Mixte Virginia Sampeur of Gressier, Haiti, is another school on the list to institute a Recycling Program for its students. HCDP was informed by the Founder and Director, Margareth Bien-Aime, that as a member of an association of teachers in that County she will expand this effort to member schools in that association. Not only because it helps the environment but also because it will help them raise the necessary funding to keep the services the school offers to the students available to all students This initiative from Ichabod Crane students, and the presence of these involved young visitors had enhanced the comprehension of the students in Haiti and made them feel supported and no longer feel ashamed to join in and take part in such global environmental effort. Efforts that are beneficial to their own health as well.
This visit to Haiti this summer of 2009 has been made possible, in part, with a grant from the Alice and Richard Henriquez Memorial fund, distributed by the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, and of fund from Self Development of People (SDOP)Award that contributed to HCDP’s effort to achieve a successful developmental and environmental program. Also contributions made by students of Ichabod Crane Middle School Recycling Program, Jr. S.A.V.E. or Students Against Violating the Earth , and HCDP volunteers.