Recycling in Lebanon ‘Takes too long, is too expensive and too complicated.’
In Le Monde, the journalist Benjamin Barthe reports on ACTED’s efforts to streamline household recycling in Lebanon via a new smartphone application.
In the past, despite the goodwill of many Lebanese to separate and store recyclable household waste, the opaque and erratic nature of municipal service provision forced these households to travel at their own expense to recycling centres.
In a state which has publicly struggled to overcome a seemingly never-ending garbage crisis, NGOs like ACTED have come forward to promote innovative, tech-driven approaches to build a culture of recycling at household level by reducing the practical headaches involved.
The initiative began with the NGO Live Love Lebanon, who, with technological support from Uber, developed a downloadable app which allows users to order a collection vehicle straight to their door. The collection vehicles are electronic rickshaws, the majority of which are driven by Syrian refugees. All household recycling is collected and deposited with the NGO Arcenciel for processing at no cost to the user.
“We achieved 300 downloads of the application in the first two days and have now reached 15,000,” said Georges Bitar, one of the founders of the project.
“The application has even been used by the President of Lebanon and the French Ambassador,” said Ciara Noone, ACTED’s Technical Coordinator for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Lebanon.
ACTED’s contribution to this initiative was made possible through funding from the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ).
The project represents a prime example of ACTED’s new 3Zeros initiative to promote humanitarian and development programming which creates Zero Exclusion, Zero Carbon and Zero Exclusion.