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Educational and Private Sector Alliance Launches Zero Waste Schools

Educational and Private Sector Alliance Launches Zero Waste Schools

OECS Media Release

April 2, 2024 — A powerful alliance of schools, clubs, and businesses in Dominica has unveiled a bold Zero Waste Schools Program, marking a significant stride towards sustainable waste management practices and environmental education across the island. This initiative, born under the Recycle OECS Project implemented by the OECS Commission in partnership with Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and funded by the European Union, underscores the commitment of the Eastern Caribbean region to combating plastic pollution and fostering circular economy principles.

The Zero Waste Schools Program forms part of the public education and awareness outreach of the Recycle OECS Model Demonstration Project in Dominica, led by the Dominica Solid Waste Management Corporation (DSWMC). The initiative was launched on March 13, with a slate of 2,950 students from 45 schools and 57 4-H clubs. Additionally, the program launched with 39 businesses on board, each committed to funding school and community-based zero waste programs of the schools with which they are paired.

At the heart of the Zero Waste Schools Program is the establishment of green spaces at participating schools, complete with composting facilities and backyard gardens. Where there are limited ground spaces, innovative hanging gardens utilising recycled plastic containers will be set up to propagate medicinal herbs, seasonings, and botanicals, while championing recycling practices.

Furthermore, each participating school is setting up a dedicated recyclables depot, managed in collaboration with the DSWMC. The depot not only serves as a hub for collecting and sorting recyclables for collection through the DSWMC’s recyclables curbside service but also acts as a sustainability strategy, rewarding schools with the most plastics quarterly. Students are encouraged to bring recyclable plastics from home to the school depot, fostering a sense of responsibility and engaging their families in sustainable practices.

One of the program's groundbreaking aspects is the training of students in data collection using the Debris Tracker App, facilitated through an ongoing partnership between DSWMC and the University of Georgia. Equipped with this technology, students not only monitor waste trends within their schools but also track debris within their communities, gathering invaluable data for DSWMC's analysis and strategic waste management planning.

Dominica and Grenada are the two OECS Member States implementing Recycle OECS Model Demonstration Projects. Through a longstanding Environmental Schools Program, the Grenada Solid Waste Management Authority (GSWMA) also works closely with schools island-wide to promote sustainable practices through composting and, more recently, through separation and sorting of recyclables.

About Recycle OECS

The Recycle OECS Project is funded by the European Union, in collaboration with CARIFORUM, and implemented by Agence Française de Développement (AFD) in partnership with the Organisation of East Caribbean States (OECS).

The purpose of the RecycleOECS project is to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the OECS waste management sector and to develop and implement a model waste separation, collection, and recycling program for the OECS. This program considers a regional approach, self-financing, sustainability, and business viability.

Danny Moonie Communications / Knowledge Management Specialist, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
OECS Communications Unit Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States






Ocean Governance and Fisheries
About The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States

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The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is an International Organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance among independent and non-independent countries in the Eastern Caribbean. The OECS came into being on June 18th 1981, when seven Eastern Caribbean countries signed a treaty agreeing to cooperate with each other while promoting unity and solidarity among its Members. The Treaty became known as the Treaty of Basseterre, so named in honour of the capital city of St. Kitts and Nevis where it was signed. The OECS today, currently has eleven members, spread across the Eastern Caribbean comprising Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique and Guadeloupe. 

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
Morne Fortune
Saint Lucia