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Recycle and Help | Civic Europe
Environment and sustainability, Social inclusion

Recycle and Help

Waste Selective Collection for Supporting Children without Childhood in small towns and isolated rural areas


Who is behind this?

silvia petre

Asociatia Pro Xpert


Who is joining forces?

Asociatia pentru promovarea si sustinerea economiei sociale


Asociația Cataleya Yris



Idea pitch

The project tries to solve 2 major problems in one shoot: inadequate waste disposal and extreme poverty many children live in, increasing also the social cohesion in these communities. We will apply the ”pay forward” principle that will convey our model from schools to school, from community to community. We will work first with 20 teachers and 100 pupils who will become change makers in their communities, ambassador of the slogan ”Support children without childhood by waste separate collection”

Where will your project idea take place?

Romania Valcea County - 3 small towns: Berbesti, Baile Govora, Calimanesti and 7 villages

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

We selected 10 civic deserts: 3small towns+7villages-5 being in an area strongly affected by mining sector restructuring, all 10 facing with a high level of unemployment, an aged population and a very low level of welfare. Coping with questions like ”what we will have to eat tomorrow?” people are completely absent from community’s life. Having their own problems they are not eager anymore to support others. In the same time waste management is one of the most serious problems in Romania, the more severe is in small and poor communities, when mayoralties are not able (or willing) to find proper solutions.
The project tries to solve 2 major problems in one shoot: inadequate waste disposal and extreme poverty many children live in, increasing also the social cohesion in these communities

Who are you doing it for?

We will begin with a basic target group of 20 teachers+80 pupils from 10 schools trained to become part of the project team and then social change ambassadors in their communities (mentioned above). They will train then other 40 pupils and 30 adults/locality in waste management issues &public participation, in general - 700 totally. Direct beneficiaries are the 10 schools who will receive containers for recyclable waste (and valuable educational tools for environmental education), together with the 10 mayoralties who will benefit in multiple ways for the project that will solve major environmental and some social issues in their localities. Indirect beneficiaries: 10 schools& mayoralties in other 10 ”adopted” localities, about 3000 pupils and 10000 inhabitants from these 20 localities.

How do you plan to get there?

Step1: We will start with an infrastructure of 10 schools (who will receive a set of containers for recyclable waste) & a core group of 20 teachers + 80 pupils who will involve then other 300 adults + 400 pupils from their communities. Then they will start selective collection and a recycling company will transform their work into money.
Step 2. The money gathered has a 50-50% use: 50% for buying a new set of containers for an adopted school and 50% for helping very poor children in the community.
When there are enough money to buy containers, we will create the second ”snow layer” in 10 other communities (each team/school will ”adopt” a school from another ”civic desert” community)
Step 3. Replicate this model in as many small communities as possible on a ”pay it forward” principle

What are the expected results?

The tangible result is an infrastructure (small points for waste selective collection set in the 10 school yards) +10 10 initiative groups /teams actively involved in developed of the communities they are living in - starting with waste management and continuing with other relevant topics.
The most visible (though not very tangible) will be the solidarity among people. We expect the snowball effect to function beyond our involvement and to attract more and more persons with any availability for public involvement. By showing them that the simple gesture of throwing a bottle in the specific container instead of the roadside can buy a bread for a hungry child, we might, in time, transform this gesture into a habit.

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

The project aims to improve civic participation in community’s life by creating a ”scale model” of the 3 pillars of sustainable development: selective waste collection (ecologic) valorising them (economic) for supporting marginalised children (social).
Step 1. Bring awareness to people that are now mostly ”civic illiterate” on the most sensitive cases of children living below the poverty line
Step 2. Explain to them that they could help these children in a very easy way, having a strong impact on the community’s health: by differentiated waste collection.
Step 3. After the first small victories, bring the stakeholders of the community (school, local library, church, authorities, waste disposal companies) to the discussion table and see who wants to get involved to help scale the model

Why is this idea important to you?

I am from X generation so I have the experience of collecting paper and glass bottles as a pupil and I saw this habit labelled as ”communist” and assimilated with everything else with this label, as being bad. And I am fighting for 30 years with this prejudice, trying to persuade people of the importance of separate collection for our life, planet and future. I was very happy when I discovered that a social message behind an environmental one make the last 100 times more effective and people become more involved in social causes than in any other. Thus almost all people I talked with, in small communities, ask for containers and (in a complete absence of support from public institutions) finding proper financing for this kind of infrastructure become my main mission.

€ 65000,-

Total budget

€ 50000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

- Infrastructure - 10 containers set - plastic+glass+aluminium - 10000 (this model -
- Awareness campaign (promotional stuffs, mass media publicity etc.) - 8000 (our contr. 3000)
- Personnel: 20000 (our contr. 7000)
- Travel cost: 2000
- Accommodation (core group training:100 pers. x 5 days) 15000
- Stationery + catering for 40 local trainings - 8000 (our contr. 4000)
- Office expenses: 2000 (1000 ours)

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We would really like to know how feasible this idea seems to other and if there are similar initiative in other regions. We also need advices related to how to advocate our model at the level of regional/national decision makers in order to insert this model in a public policy.



Idea created on May 15, 2020
Last edit on May 24, 2020

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