RESPONSIBLE WASTE MANAGEMENT
Due to its isolation from the central government, Leticia struggles with huge social inequality and a vast amount of organizational problems. One of the major challenges facing the city is the municipal solid waste management system, which suffers from a multitude of deficiencies in services and infrastructure.
These include inefficient organizational procedures, weak financial support, inadequate service coverage of the city’s population, lack of involvement from municipal authorities and city planning, and noncompliance from the general public regarding waste separation, disposal, and littering.
The lack of city-issued waste bins and a large roaming animal population means that much of the rubbish that residents leave outside to be collected ends up in the streets, attracting rodents and insects and spreading disease. Furthermore, many inhabitants who live in areas without waste collection services use the streets and waterways as their dumping grounds or burn their solid wastes contributing to air, water, and soil contamination.
These barriers to effective solid waste management pose public health risks for people and animals, as well as environmental problems. In 2015, two major demonstrations were organized by the citizens of Leticia to express their discontent and highlight the critical nature of this issue to the local government.
Entropika’s strategy seeks to minimize the amount of domestic waste taken to the municipal landfill by targeting local schools, one of the city’s largest waste generators, especially of plastics and other recyclable materials.
WORKSHOPS IN SCHOOLS
Entropika gives educational talks to children and school staff on proper solid waste separation, reduction, and recovery to instill good disposal and recycling habits.
Students learn ways to minimize their waste production by rethinking wasteful behaviors and developing a conscientiousness of responsible consumer choices and the importance of a clean environment. Shaping waste reduction behaviors at school influence practices at home further reducing the community’s total output of waste to landfill.
Currently, Entropika’s team sterilizes around 500 dogs and cats annually from marginal neighbourhoods of Leticia and indigenous communities, and each year we extend the scope of our interventions.
RECICLARTE - THE DESIRABLE DEBRIS OF THE AMAZON
We also work with women in the community to create financial incentives for waste management. We offer weekly crochet workshops using plastic shopping bags, the city’s most ubiquitous litter item, to make handcrafts for sale in local markets, festivals, and other venues.
Our participants are usually single mothers or the sole-income earners for their households, so selling their handcrafts provides much needed additional income for their families. Plastic bags are saved from shopping trips, picked up from the streets, and collected by their neighbors, enhancing community participation in waste management and reducing the amount of plastics that end up in the landfill or as pollution.