Press the button, pick a time, wait for 30 minutes and they’re here. With more than 3,500 users, 2,000 collections per month, over 30 tons of waste recycled and 436 jobs offered to the unemployed and refugees, Live Love Recycle keeps pushing to save Lebanon’s environment.
Four years ago, Live Love Recycle was simply a dream to Georges Bitar. With the help of Live Love Beirut, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), World Food Programme – WFP, ACTED, and Arcenciel, this dream became a reality.
Not only was Live Love Recycle able to provide a free recycling collection service for more than 3,500 households in Beirut by using electric bikes, but it also offered jobs to more than 436 people from vulnerable communities.
Live Love Recycle received positive feedback and huge support from social media and both local and international organizations. Throughout the five years of hard work, the initiative managed to expand its network, grow bigger, and become more accessible.
Lately, the Live Love Recycle team launched a Kickstarter campaign to gather contributions from citizens willing to fund their project and support recycling in Lebanon. More than $50,000 were collected.
“This Kickstarter campaign serves as a transition to the next phase of Live Love Recycle,” said Georges Bitar.
The funding will allow them to offer 20,000 free collections in Beirut, saving up to 100 tons of recyclable waste from going to landfills and the sea. Live Love Recycle also plans on expanding their network outside of Beirut, currently in the process of recruiting new drivers to help them run their operations more efficiently, in addition to updating their mobile application to improve their service.
To become self-sustainable, Live Love Recycle has to start charging between $2 to $3 per collection. Bitar believes this might pose a challenge to Live Love Recycle, with the number of requests dropping once they begin charging customers per pick-up.
“We have many goals we’re working for in the meantime, but the most important one is to remain sustainable over the years,” he told Beirut Today, adding that they are hoping to reach most of their set goals by the end of 2019 or beginning of 2020.
The team hopes to go beyond Lebanon, looking to expand their work to another three years from now.
“We hope that we will be able to implement our programs abroad, mainly in Africa,” said Bitar.
They are currently working on a new awareness campaign, advocating recycling through a set of movies and info-graphics. The campaign will not only raise awareness about the importance of recycling, but also teach citizens how to recycle.
Through making recycling more accessible and spreading knowledge that many people in Lebanon lack, the team hopes to push more citizens towards recycling and change their waste disposal habits.
“This takes a while but it is a slow and a promising process,” said Bitar.
Covered by more than 100 news platforms, and having received more than 45 local and international awards, Live Love Recycle continues to shine as a provider of eco-friendly solutions to our country’s waste crisis.