Schools to get trained to earn on waste sorting – “Let’s do it, Ukraine!”

NGO partners with a multinational company to introduce a pilot project on waste management for schools that can be monetized.

Project that aims to teach pupils the culture of waste sorting and recycling starts in Ukraine. Mykolayiv became the first city where over 13 thousand participants from 67 schools brought almost 18 thousand kilograms of waste paper and 1,5 thousand kilograms of plastic for recycling. The figures were presented by Yuliya Markhel, president of NGO “Let’s do it, Ukraine” at a press-briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

The idea is that the waste paper that has been sorted can be taken to recycling, while the money obtained can be used to purchase waste bins so that waste can be sorted in the future. “This example helped us understand that waste sorting can be introduced at schools and the culture of cleanness can be formed. If all schoolchildren from across Ukraine are involved, over five million kilograms of waste can be collected, monetized it constitutes nine million hryvnia. Schools may thus fundraise from UAH 600 to, as we saw, UAH 11 thousand for school development. We are looking for the ways to find money and at the same time are throwing it away as waste,” Markhel noted.

She said the project foresees ecological training with practical tasks. On average a school will need two months to start the project and go through all the stages. They include training for children, home research that suggests tracking their household consumption to learn how to save money on it for the family as well as the waste collection and recycling marathon and strategic planning of waste handling held at the school level.

“Our aim is to make all our packaging recyclable as secondary raw materials until 2025,” added Denys Adakhovsky, head of the environmental safety department at PepsiCo Ukraine, the company that is a partner to the project and helped install waste bins in Mykolayiv schools. According to Yuliya Markhel it costs UAH 23 thousand to install the bins, even without a sponsor it is possible to have it done over two-three months thanks to secondary raw materials only.

The project is on until 2025. Organizers plan to cover each and every school in Ukraine.