Lebanon faces a waste management crisis. In 2015, our nation was covered in plastic with photos spreading all over the globe. Its people were furious, sad, and confounded to see the roads, rivers, seas, hills, and valleys full of untreated waste.
Our government attempted to fast remedy this issue by adding fresh waste sites instead of building lasting alternative to the crisis. This puts our working environment and public health lethally at risk.
There have been numerous initiatives taken to try and eliminate waste from our roads and beaches to no avail. However, a new mobile app has now come on stage to empower the public to make an impact!
Launched by Live Love Beirut in partnership with the World Food Program, and ACTED Lebanon, the new app called Live Love Recycle allows users to order an e-bike or a tuk-tuk to come to their home, pick up recyclables and deliver them to Arc en Ciel for proper disposal.
The project had been under development for a period of 3 years all while searching for funds. In 2018, Live Love Recycle received a grant from BMZ, through the World Food Program, to build a prototype and test it out over 1 year.
Throughout this time, the app offered its services for free as per the conditions of the grants. By the end of the year, the startup was able to reach 3500 households and recycled 30 tons of waste instead of them getting dumped in the landfills and ending up in the Mediterranean Sea.
In addition to reducing waste in the country, the startup is also trying to improve the employment rate in Lebanon. The people driving the Live Love Recycle bikes all belong to folks who are situated under the poverty line and everyone has the chance to join the team by contacting them!
Apart from bikers, the Live Love team also recruited 20 women as chefs for the team, thereby balancing the gender balance of the project at the same time maximizing employment for the most vulnerable in Lebanon.
The startup’s aim is to develop Live Love Recycle as a self-sustainable social enterprise. In order to do so, they must increase the number of requests to 5,000 requests a month as well as develop their new technology and pick up system to operate more efficiently.
Being part of TIP’s 3rd cycle, these objectives seem closer than ever and we cannot wait to see a waste-free Lebanon!