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The Plastic Bottle Recycling and Education Project

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Who Am I?

My name is Ngalim Franklin (Mr. Green), and I am organizing this fundraiser to end plastic bottle pollution in Bamenda in the North West Region of Cameroon.
This initiative not only tackles environmental concerns but also empowers the young people in the crisis-hit region to fund their education through the collection, upcycling, and recycling of plastic bottles as well as improve the quality of their education and school environment by recycling plastic bottles into benches, bins, and pavement.


I have over a decade of experience serving as a Grassroots Environmental Educator/Activist (Founder and Executive Director of The Greens), Geology Teacher, and Innovator during which I've spearheaded numerous projects focusing on waste management, environmental education, biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation, and community development.

My dedication to environmental causes has earned me recognitions such as the Cameroon National Media Award Against Climate Change, the 2019 Forest Educator of the Year awarded by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, and the Connect for Climate Voices for Climate Photo Contest presented by the World Bank Group. These accolades not only acknowledge my contributions but have also afforded me the privilege to participate in prestigious international events such as the Africa Mountains Community-to-Community Exchange in Rwanda, the World Forestry Congress in South Korea, and most recently, a scholarship that brought me to the Earthship Academy in the United States, where I am currently stationed and organizing this fundraising initiative to combat plastic bottle pollution.


Papa J, Colby, and I went for a litter hunt at The Family of Jeffers/Greens Street in Phoenix, Arizona.
Colby is The Greens' pioneer international volunteer and Green Ambassador while Papa J a Green Elder with The Greens.


My waste management journey...
Before my departure to the Earthship Academy, I developed a plastic bottle shredder known as the Precious Plastic-Plastic Bottle Shredder (PP PB Shredder) and devised a simple and innovative solution to end plastic bottle pollution while providing young people the opportunity to finance their education through plastic bottle collection. This mission holds a special dedication to my late son - Nyukighan Frank-Kightley Ngalim, an Earthranger, and I am committed to eradicating plastic bottle pollution in my community by the year 2026.

Growing up in Bamenda, Cameroon, I witnessed a stark of environmental challenges, including improper waste disposal, deforestation, and a lack of environmental education in schools. These issues fueled my passion to serve and became the driving force behind my life's mission. Over the years, I actively participated in various community clean-ups and advocacy campaigns, cultivating a strong commitment to recycling.

My dedication to fostering a cleaner, greener, and sustainable community led me to:
  • Educate young people about waste management and involve them in waste management initiatives, as showcased in this video:


  • Innovate plastic bottles into UPB Tree Nursery Pots and UPB Vertical Farms, demonstrated in these videos:

  • Innovate tires into Mushroom Tire Seats and Tire Erosion Embankments, as seen in this video:


  • Establish ecoDesigns, a textile recycling and fashion designing hub that provides free training to women and girls in textile recycling and fashion designing.



Building on my experiences and inspired by the Precious Plastic Community, I built the first plastic bottle shredder in my community. With this machine and a curriculum we’re designing in collaboration with Future17 of QS Impact, we will end plastic bottle pollution in Bamenda, Cameroon.


The situation of waste management in Bamenda - Cameroon
In his recent report, journalist Bakah Derick, based in Bamenda, vividly portrays the challenges of waste management in the city of Bamenda, Cameroon.


Plastic bottle pollution is a significant global issue, with over one million plastic bottles purchased every minute. Unfortunately, most of these bottles end up in landfills, are incinerated, or are irresponsibly discarded in the environment, ultimately finding their way into waterways. Compounding this problem is the absence of recycling firms in Bamenda, a crucial issue identified through my observational research.
The key hurdles to effective plastic recycling in this context include the collection, cleaning, sorting, and, most significantly, the transportation of plastic waste to recycling facilities, which are often situated far from polluted sites and in different cities. To illustrate this challenge, consider the analogy of one kilogram of rocks versus one kilogram of feathers: while rocks occupy a small space, feathers, being voluminous, necessitate multiple trucks for transportation, especially if not compressed.
Now, picture the vast number of plastic bottles present in seas and freely occurring in nature—lightweight yet exceptionally voluminous. The critical question arises: how do we efficiently transport these bottles to recycling facilities or manage them without consuming excessive space and resources, including fuel?
This dilemma underscores the pressing need for innovative solutions to streamline the collection, transportation, and recycling processes, ensuring a more sustainable and environmentally conscious approach to plastic waste management.

The Plastic Bottle Recycling and Education Project (PB-REP)
Recycling Plastic Bottles to Benches, Bins, and Books for Education
The Bottles to Books Project tackles challenges within the plastic recycling chain by establishing plastic recycling hubs in schools. These hubs not only educate young people about plastic pollution and recycling techniques but also provide them with the opportunity to earn money for school fees and book supplies. This is achieved through a straightforward process of removing, cleaning, sorting, and bringing plastic bottles to their school for recycling and shredding. The resulting shredded plastics are then sold as raw materials to recycling companies to raise funds for school fees and book supplies, while some are recycled to produce school benches, bins, and pavement to improve the quality of their education and school environment.

The act of shredding plastic bottles is instrumental in reducing the space they occupy in homes, businesses, and the environment, simplifying storage and transportation to recycling firms. When comparing the transportation of 1 ton of shredded plastic bottles to 1 ton of intact plastic bottles, the former proves to be more efficient and economical due to the voluminous nature of the latter.



Consider our discovery: A bag filled with 40 plastic bottles. Upon shredding these bottles, we were astonished by the minimal space the shredded plastic occupied in the bag. Our calculations revealed that it would take 800 shredded plastic bottles to fill the same bag that initially required only 40 intact plastic bottles. Isn't this revelation remarkable?

Shredding not only minimizes volume but also enhances the economic value of plastic bottles. However, the significance of cleaning and sorting before shredding cannot be overstated. This pre-shredding process increases the value of the plastics by streamlining the recycling process. Consequently, cleaned, sorted, and shredded plastics become exceptional raw materials for recycling, boasting high economic value.

By establishing a decentralized system for the removal, collection, cleaning, and shredding of plastic bottles, we can expedite environmental cleanup while simultaneously creating economic opportunities for young people.

Fundraising goal, How the project works, and budget
The primary objective of this fundraising campaign is to secure funds for the development of a plastic recycling curriculum and the construction of five (05) PP-PB Shredders. These shredders will be strategically placed in 03 Schools and 02 strategic locations in Bamenda, providing an invaluable opportunity for over 5000 young individuals to engage in plastic recycling. This involvement not only educates them about the intricacies of plastic recycling but also offers a means to finance their education through the responsible collection, cleaning, sorting, and recycling of plastics.

In the schools, three pivotal activities will take place:
1. Plastic Education:
We are collaborating with the Future17 Project Team of QS Impact to design and implement a curriculum that educates young people about the perils of plastic pollution, the sustainable use and management of plastics, and pertinent local and global conventions/policies. This educational initiative aims to create awareness and a sense of responsibility among the youth.

2. Plastic Bottle Recycling:
Practical training sessions will be conducted to equip young individuals with the skills necessary for plastic bottle recycling. Key objectives include:
  • Instructing them on the safe removal of plastics from the environment, as well as the proper collection, sorting, and cleaning of used plastic bottles to be brought to their school's plastic recycling hub.
  • Implementing a points system that directly correlates with the quantity and weight of plastic bottles supplied to the school per week per student. These accumulated points will serve as a direct source of funding for the education of the participating students.
  • Organizing awards to recognize and celebrate the commendable efforts of those contributing to plastic bottle collection and recycling within the community.

3. Sale of Shredded Plastics:
After the plastic bottles have been sorted and shredded, the resulting material will be sold to recycling firms. Half of the sales proceeds will be allocated to reward the students for their efforts in collection, cleaning, sorting, and shredding. The remaining 50% will be utilized for logistical purposes, equipment maintenance, and the construction of additional shredders and other plastic recycling machines to be deployed in other schools.

Project Budget
Construction of seven (05) PP-PB Shredders: $7500
Wooden Shelves for Storage: $500
Storage Containers and Bags: $500
Printing of Plastic Recycling Curriculum: $500
Saws and Retractable cutters: $200
50 Soldering Irons: $230
10 Cordless drilling sets: $360
Transportation, Documentation, and Bank Charges: $300
Miscellaneous: $300
Total: $10390

Your support in achieving this budget will not only contribute to mitigating plastic pollution in Bamenda but will also foster education and environmental awareness among the youth while creating economic opportunities for them. Together, we can make a meaningful impact on both environmental sustainability and educational opportunities.

Thank you for your consideration and support.


Donate

Donations 

  • Monica Jeffers
    • $200 
    • 5 d
  • Anonymous
    • $150 
    • 3 mos
  • Alexandra Berger
    • $25 
    • 4 mos
  • harold peck
    • $25 
    • 4 mos
  • john Reiss
    • $40 
    • 4 mos
Donate

Organizer and beneficiary

Franklin Njaiwo Ngalim
Organizer
Phoenix, AZ
Colby Jeffers
Beneficiary

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