Verde Gesell is a project in Villa Gesell, a coastal city close to Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Verde Gesell was formulated to tackle the waste management problem in Villa Gesell. The idea is to mobilize youth to change the mindsets that Argentinians have towards the issue and to find effective solutions through innovation. We are starting with the city of Villa Gesell.
Waste management is a challenging issue for every city and particularly in developing countries. In Argentina, from the total generation of waste in Argentina, approximately 50% goes to open dumps/uncontrolled dumpsites, 35% in controlled dumpsite and 15% in landfills. Towns and municipalities are responsible for waste management in their own jurisdiction, but inadequate management has resulted in environmental concerns. Villa Gesell, a small coastal city in Argentina is in need to deploy a more sustainable waste management policy and the first step is to create a new mindset in the community, encouraging them to segregate waste at source.
Environmental education, promoting a sense of responsibility and pride to keep their community environmentally sustainable, is the first step towards a new horizon in Villa Gesell. What makes this approach innovative is that the younger generation of the city will be the spark that moves the community towards that new horizon. Young leaders will take back home the new values learned and practiced at schools to educate their parents and neighbors to transform together the way residents in Villa Gesell approach urban waste management.
The initiative VERDE GESELL is an Educational and Awareness Outreach Program that brings together the local Direction of Environment, local Board of Education, local Town Council, local environmental NGOs and teachers.
Specifically, the following specific objectives to be achieved are:
- Create Awareness: Sensitize students and citizens to sustainable attitudes towards the environment. Highlighting the value of the recyclable materials within the daily trash.
- Create a waste-sorting habit at source: Enhance the amount of recyclable material, segregating it from organic matter since the very beginning. The segregation at source will start a sustainable cycle which continues downstream with differentiated collection, sorting of recyclable materials, trade, and recycle.
- Reduce the amount of material disposed at the dumpsite: Fostering a Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling Culture (3Rs Culture).
- Transform the city into an environmental classroom: By the engagement of the majority of the population, Villa Gesell as the potential to become a model for the cities alike, and its citizens will transmit these habits to the tourist that flood the city during the holidays.