From dumpsites to a circular economy: how do we get there?

Dorothy Nabakooza
Posted May 27, 2019 from Uganda

Have you been wondering what you can do, or you want to know about what I have done in the recycling industry? Well, look no further. I got innovative solutions and best practices for your garbage management problems.

Hearing the word dumpsites and economy doesn’t really match well in a typical local man’s life. Therefore, to simplify it for people in Namasuba Uganda community, I had to localize every single word and term that seemed hard to grasp and show the sustainable monetary values with such a challenge.

I have embarked on sensitizing community and helping them reuse, reduce and recycle to make a variety of products. The first experiment I did was with my family because I believe in beginning with self-transformation before any leader can positively transform any community.

Talking about taking garbage into a circular economy, we can follow some of the basic innovative solutions I have done before, trusting that these small actions of change when put together make the world a better place. It is these small changes that reduce the big government effort to a big community effort thus reducing on resources needed by the authority to not only sort waste but also add value and in return protect our environment. These actions help us in attaining goal 12 of the Sustainable Development Goals: responsible consumption and production and if you look closely, proper waste management contributes a portion to all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Fast forward, below are the steps of what I have done and what we can do to get there.

Awareness and sensitization

Like in any community, there’s power in numbers but this power starts by having a clear understanding of the challenge, using the best language to explain it and the possible solutions and later involving step 2 below. For my community, I started by introducing the concept to our local authority called LC1 and when the defense representative bought the idea, I started on awareness and sensitization campaigns using the knowledge I had learned from the Massive Open Online Course-From Climate Science to Action. Climate change is a global problem and we all should act now. You do not need to take the course like I did, just follow steps in Number 2 below and you are on your way to achieving the call for cause.

Motivation behind.

Wondering why I was doing this? Well, Poor waste management has been personal to me for a long time. People in my community carelessly dump garbage anywhere and everywhere like by the road sides, in trenches and in the children’s playground. On a rainy day, all this waste ends up in my compound and that’s when I decided I had to find a solution for the problem and show my neighborhood the “gold in the garbage”.

Action on the challenge.

Besides the basics of switching off the lights during day when not needed, not loitering rubbish, less driving more walking to the hard terms like offsetting our carbon foot print to mention but a few, I started with making plastic hangers out of plastic waste: From the dustbin to your bedroom.

I sensitized over 50 people to start sorting their waste and make briquettes as a substitute for charcoal. You can also make my current project: plastic dustbins from plastic water bottles.

I have specialized in making interior and exterior home and office decor out of the plastic waste and you too can. Your imagination is your only limitation to the endless possibilities.

“When I read that I was supposed to write up to 600 words, I thought to myself, how the hell was I going to get those many words, but because this challenge is so personal to me, I wrote so much, I had to edit and re edit to reduce the words. That’s what passion is all about, when you can do something to the extreme and even forget what the rules were. Remember you do have to follow the rules in the end though :-).”

This blog has been submitted to the 2019 ISWA YPG Blog-writing Competition. The ISWA Young Professionals Group is dedicated to (and coordinated by) young professionals in order to encourage them to be proactive and support them in building their careers in the waste industry.

#YPGblog2019 #ISWAClosingDumpsites 

link: https://climatefighters20.wordpress.com/2019/05/25/from-dumpsites-to-a-circular-economy-how-do-we-get-there/

 

Comments 18

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Dawn Arteaga
May 27
May 27

Wow this is so fantastic! Thank you for sharing your passion! This is such a thoughtful approach to helping reduce the footprint in your community on our planet. I would love to know how you came up with this concept and approach? I hope other community leaders read this and follow your wonderful example!

Dorothy Nabakooza
May 28
May 28

Thank you for the support. you can as well click on the link to like the original post that way I can win this competition. our likes contribute 30% of the final mark.

Lisbeth
May 27
May 27

Great initiatives it was you took well done. Africa and it sanitation issue is alarming I tell you. Lately, am beginning to get upset about the plastic in my area. Yes we all have to try and take such bold steps of your one day.
Thanks for sharing!

Dorothy Nabakooza
May 28
May 28

Thank you for the support. you can as well click on the link to like the original post that way I can win this competition. our likes contribute 30% of the final mark.

Lisbeth
May 28
May 28

Ohk. Send it to me. Thanks

Dorothy Nabakooza
May 28
May 28

here's the link
https://climatefighters20.wordpress.com/2019/05/25/from-dumpsites-to-a-c...
I have included a clickable one in the post above. I hope it saved this time round. It failed loading the other time I edited.

May 28
May 28
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May 28
May 28
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Jill Langhus
May 28
May 28

Hi Dorothy,

I agree with Dawn! We need so many more planet advocates like you:-) Keep up the good work, dear!

Where is the original post link, dear, that you're referring to? Your WP link? The two links take me to your WP post. I would like to help you win:-)

Good luck!

Dorothy Nabakooza
May 28
May 28

here's the link
https://climatefighters20.wordpress.com/2019/05/25/from-dumpsites-to-a-c...
I have included a clickable one in the post above. I hope it saved this time round. It failed loading the other time I edited.

Jill Langhus
May 28
May 28

Yes. I see it now, and I clicked on it. I hope it's enough. Keep us posted on how it goes, dear!

Dorothy Nabakooza
May 28
May 28

definitely . Xoxo

Jill Langhus
May 28
May 28

Great!

XX :-)

Dorothy Nabakooza
May 28
May 28

Thank you Jill.

Jill Langhus
May 28
May 28

You're welcome!

Hello, Dorothy,

I’m with you for a circular economy’! I discussed with my husband on going zero-waste, and we’ll takt it one step at a time.

Thanks for sharing! Please keep us updated.

Dorothy Nabakooza
May 31
May 31

Your welcome. that's a great initiative. we can all do it, one at a time.
If you would be kind and help me like this page https://climatefighters20.wordpress.com/2019/05/25/from-dumpsites-to-a-c...

as well so that through the post i wrote, I am able to win a prize for #ISWA blog post challenge.
thank you

Yes, we can! I already liked your blogpost. Rooting for you!❤️

You’re welcome!