Waste Free Oceans (WFO) is dedicated to collecting and recycling ocean plastic. Our main goal is to reduce the global impact of marine litter. By mobilizing fisheries, recyclers, manufacturers and policymakers, WFO aims to reduce, reuse and ultimately recycle marine litter, mitigating the impact on both the environment and natural resources.
Waste Free Oceans (WFO) is an environmental organization dedicated to the collection and recycling of ocean plastic. In doing so, WFO seeks to create sustainable partnerships between those who collect, separate and redevelop these materials in order to support the green transition; companies like GreenDot Group, and Plastic Energy.
Despite its pristine beaches and natural areas, the Dominican Republic is confronted with a large waste issue. Over 11,000 metric tons of waste are produced on a daily basis, most of which is household-generated and ends up in illegal landfills throughout the country. This is further exacerbated by years of mismanagement of waste services and the unavailability of collecting, sorting and recycling sites. As a result, mountains of waste have emerged throughout the country developing into sources of socio-economic issues as well as health and environmental disasters.
Informal waste pickers without any form of protection operate on the landfills which see regularly erupting fires and the propagation of toxic gasses throughout the surrounding areas. Based on the fundamental human right of a clean environment, the Dominican government is addressing these issues by advocating for the closure of illegal landfills and the construction of related collection and separation sites. DO Sostenible, a public-private trust fund for the integral management of solid waste, is in charge of these projects. It is an economic instrument whose objective is to encourage the participation of the various sectors of society, creating investment needs for the development of the required infrastructure, guaranteeing projects remain financially sustainable. It also encourages research and works on the remediation and rehabilitation of contaminated sites. As a result of all its initiatives, DO Sostenible seeks to incorporate the recycling market into the formal economy, to create sustainable companies and therefore to generate jobs.
A good example of this is the closure of the illegal landfill in Dajabón. In only two months, the government managed to remove the waste and build a transfer station which will legally employ some of the waste pickers from the dumpsites. The government is making significant progress in closing these sites and in promoting the restoration of the local biodiversity. The previous landfill site itself has blossomed and now welcomes all kinds of wildlife in the adjacent pond. As Juan Pichardo, Communication Director for DO Sostenible, mentioned during our visit: “It is about turning flies into butterflies”.
Therefore, and in order to continue the ongoing work, WFO is collaborating with DO Sostenible, on efforts to reduce plastic pollution throughout the country. With years of experience in contributing to new waste legislation and the socio-economic mechanisms needed to support such initiatives, Waste Free Oceans along with its partners, Plastic Energy, global leader in advanced recycling of plastics, and GreenDot which specializes in holistic solutions for plastic circularity, are committed to supporting the Dominican Republic in its endeavors.
The current efforts are a true testament to the ongoing work by the authorities and their partners to improve the health and environment of local communities, and the WFO continues to assist the Dominican Republic in this journey.
For more information, please visit https://www.wastefreeoceans.org/