Trash to Treasure: LEAD Recycling Business Partners With Timberland

Edouard Carrié, a Haitian entrepreneur, is taking steps to simultaneously address the issues of sanitation and employment. He created a recycling business, Environmental Cleaning Solutions S.A. (ECSSA) in 2010, not only keep the streets of Port-au-Prince clean, but also to provide income to the poorest Haitian households.

Since its founding, ECSSA has grown to employ thousands of Haitians who deposit bags of discarded bottles at collection points throughout the Port-au-Prince region. ECSSA collects, compacts and ships hundreds of millions plastic bottles for further processing into recycled plastic pellets that are used in over 120 countries to make everything from t-shirts to tables.

In fact, they're used in Timberland clothing. The above video shows how trash collected from the streets of Haiti is turned into high fashion, creating jobs and empowering people along the way.

ECCSA received support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through an initiative called LEAD (Leveraging Effective Application of Direct Investments) that focuses on developing Haitian businesses. Implemented by PADF, the LEAD program provides grants to Haitian entrepreneurs to help them access much-needed capital. The program also offers technical assistance to help enterprises implement their business plans and strengthen their operations.

“USAID and PADF’s LEAD investment is allowing ECSSA to ramp up collection and provide more Haitian households with the opportunity to earn income," says Carrié.