Separating to stimulate - providing the tools for PURA VIDA recycling in rural Costa Rica

Year: 2015
Country: Costa Rica
Project Status: Funded
Impact Sector: Environment
Project Investment: $2,566.67

Project Launch: 6-29-15

Colonia Libertad is a small, rural community in Costa Rica with a population of 200 people. There is no governmental support for trash or recycling in the area, and many people do not know how to properly recycle. A group of seven, six dedicated women and one man, took matters into their own hands and formed a Recycling Committee. They collect recycled items around the community and educate their neighbors about keeping the environment clean. As a supplement to a previous World Connect project that renovated the recycling shed to meet health codes, this project will distribute recycling bins to households and local businesses in the community. In addition, the Recycling Committee will lead trainings and provide illustrated information packets to educate and reinforce awareness about recycling at the household level. The Recycling Committee is also teaming up with the local elementary school to implement a program where the students will collect recyclables around the community. By educating young people about recycling and environmental conservation, this project aims to make environmental sustainability a priority in the community for generations to come.

Project Update

In collaboration with the women-led recycling committee and local elementary school, the new recycling program is in full effect. Recycling bins were distributed to households and community members participated in educational workshops focused on proper waste management and environmental stewardship. To raise funds and awareness about their environmental mission, the recycling committee held a "trashion" show, where elementary students showcased clothes made out of recycled materials and competed to be crowned the recycling queen. Through this engaging and creative event, the recycling committee raised over $500. The recycling committe will continue to engage the community through additional fundraisers, workshops, and house visits to monitor the success of the recycling program.


"We are the only community within miles that recycles so we are a huge example in the district. We have already been recognized by the municipality for our efforts and that is very exciting. We plan to be able to unite with other communities to be able to improve the quality of life for everyone in the area." - Elvia, Project Leader

"For now, we start with those that are willing to change and we teach our children so they can grow up and then teach their children. That is where we begin." - Project Participant 

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