Best Ideas 2018 features all the nominated entries submitted to the Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition under ‘Submit your Idea’ category. All the entries consist of innovative solution or proposition for an enterprise that champions the Sustainable Development Goals. They can be on the conceptual, planning, or start-up stage. If you want to know the 10 finalists in this category, click HERE
Explain your idea in details:
Main objective is to transform small communities landfills that are environmental bombs into business models that can improve peoples lives. Lets imagine a small community with a population of 5000, located somewhere in the country, 15 km away from nearest city. The village has 1 unauthorized landfill (~ 2 hectares), situated at the edge of it, really close to the forest and a lake. What do we do? 1. We lease the land where the landfill is located. 2. We hire jobless locals. Each of them will work in different zones. 3. We divide the land in 5 zones as follows: A. Recycling area. Zone where our employees will recycle trash. Plastic, glass, paper deposited and sold. Food waste deposited in zone B. B. Food waste & Compost. Zone where we will make soil for our plant nursery. Unused soil will be packed and sold for additional revenue. Packages can be made out of the recycled plastic and paper. C. Plant nursery. The zone where we will grow plants and sell them. Moreover, in partnership with Ministry of Environment, we can grow endangered species and replant them in protected areas. D. Activity area. The goal is to have bee hives (for our plants). Furthermore, our employees can offer gardening services for local households. Produced honey can be delivered to local kindergartens or schools. E. Landfill. Old toxic zone that step by step will be cleaned, due to our recycling efforts. 4. At the start, all the garbage that is already present, will be moved to zone E. Once our activity has begun, garbage depositing will only be allowed in zone A. 5. Through this project, we educate locals about recycling and offer young entrepreneurs the opportunity to start a small business (honey production or gardening services).
Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development
Average person delivers ~400 kg of waste per year, while 99% of this waste is deposited in landfills. In a community of 5000, the landfill should increase by more than 2000 tons each year. Considering waste that has already been deposited there are more than 7.000 10.000 tons of waste that have to be recycled in a single 2 hectares landfill. 5-year proposal plan: 1st year - hire 15 people and clean 0.75ha of landfill: a. recycling zone (10 employees) and 200t waste recycled, b. composting zone (2 employees) and produce 20t of composting soil, c. plant nursery zone (3 employees) and 2500 plants. 2nd year clean additional 0.25ha for our plant nursery. Hire 2 more employees for recycling and plant nursery. We should grow 4000 plants. 3rd year clean another 0.25ha and create new activity zone. Hire 1 more employee for our newly installed 30 bee hives. Inform 2000 locals about waste sorting and waste management. 4th year clean 0.25ha for our plant nursery. Hire 1 more employee raise the number of plants to 8000 and of bee hives to 50. Also we should introduce gardening services. 5th year landfill will be close to be cleaned where: a. 0.75ha recycling zone and 10 employees. b. 0.25ha composting zone and 2 employees (compost production, gardening services). c. 0.75ha plant nursery and 5 employees. We should plant over 10.000 flowers/trees. d. 0.25ha activity zone and 3 employees (honey production, gardening services). At the end of this 5-year plan we should have: 1. 1 unauthorized landfill cleaned. 2. Over 5000 tons of waste recycled. 3. 20 employed locals. 4. Recycling zone created.
Plans for implementation and sustainability
Our activity can start as a public-private partnership. First of all, we should lease the land from local authorities. Considering we solve a general public problem, the land should be leased for free (maybe in exchange for future gardening services or plants). Secondly, Ministry of Environment should be involved in our project as they can help in many aspects: from tax incentives for the company to search of funding opportunities (European Commission Environment funding). The great thing about this business model is that in 2-3 years it should generate revenue to sustain itself. 1. Recycled waste plastic, paper, glass, metal, wood. Besides being sold, it can be used as raw materials for our Activity zone. Plastic and paper will be recycled into packaging for our compost - or recycled paper/wood can be used for briquettes production. 2. Compost used as soil for our plants. Moreover, can be sold for additional revenue. There are at least 2-3 big farms in each community. They generate compost material, that can be used in Biomass briquettes production. 3. Plant nursery flowers, trees, shrubs, bushes can be sold. We can plant strawberries or other fruity shrubs for additional revenue. 4. Activity zone honey production, gardening services for community, briquettes production etc. This business model can be applied to any community all over the world where there is a landfill and willingness to change things. Moreover, small partnerships in regional areas can only improve this networking model. For example, one community is active in honey production, another mushrooms production or strawberries production and at the end all this can be traded inside this network. Employees dont need special skills or studies.
30 years old enthusiast, tired of seeing garbage piling up on our streets, overflowed garbage bins, and surrounding hills full of waste and plastic bags. Owning a Masters of Law and deeply researching environmental legislation, I am pretty sure that this country has a better future in trash management as a business model for young entrepreneurs.