Currently, the area of Santa Cruz, Ica in Peru has no solid waste management program or services. Community members and schools have resorted to burning trash, discarding it in the desert outside of town, or throwing it over school walls, which leads to an unhealthy environment. The project here is focused at the schools in the communities of San Francisco and El Carmen. It will begin with a series of trainings on contamination routes, climate change and the effects of burning trash, solid waste management and recycling. After the training the two schools will compete to see which can collect the most recycling.
The project will give schools recycling bins and garbage bags for their efforts. The school that wins the competition will receive soccer balls and other equipment for the school. After the competition there will be continued evaluation of the recycling program at each school to overcome difficulties and ensure the program runs smoothly and sustainably. The funds raised from selling recycling at each school will be used to fund other project to enrich the learning environments for students.
In total, 68 students participated in the trainings and recycling competition. About 93% of the students who participated in the trainings showed an increased understanding of climate change, solid waste management, and recycling. Furthermore, almost 350 kilograms (772 pounds) of plastic bottles, aluminum cans, and paper were collected by the students and bought by a local recycler. The winning school was awarded three soccer balls and one basketball. Local leaders are working to build strong relationships with local recyclers to ensure the sustainability of the recycling programs at both schools.
“This project has definitely helped the children of the community by teaching them the importance of recycling and taking care of their environment which they will hopefully implement into their daily lives and teach to other members of the community.” – David, Peace Corps Volunteer
“The project seems very important because I learned to recycle and not contaminate the environment with the trainings and recycling competition. I hope they continue doing more projects to learn more and continue recycling and taking care of the environment.” – Diana, 16, Project Participant
“The students now have more consciousness to not contaminate the environment.” – Elvira, Project Leader