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WINNER, FIRST PRIZE: Black Sheep Inn (Ecuador)

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The 1st Prize, (Euros 850) is funding the Building of a Rural Andean Recycling Centre, by Black Sheep Inn of Ecuador.

First PrizeThe First Prize Winners, Black Sheep Inn proposed to help the village of Chugchilán high up in the Andes, turn its waste into a resource by creating a sustainable Recycling Centre.

Accepting the 1st Prize, the proprietors, Andres Hammerman and Michelle Kirby, said: "Chugchilán and Black Sheep Inn want to thank and voting Members for making this recycling centre possible. Step-by-step, working together, we can sustain our planet and our minds. People inherently need land, but must work to sustain it, so that land in turn will sustain them. As promised, we will keep Members informed of the projects' progress."

Project Implementation - Progress Updates

June 2006:

Bringing waste to new recycling site

Digging pit for safe disposal of non-recyclables

Tourist helps Black Sheep Inn manager sift recyclables

Everyone participates! Peace Corps Volunteer instructs as 6th grade students sort organic waste. President of Chugchilán looks left towards cardboard

Village worker and 6th grade students raising their hands to a job well done

August 2006:

ADOBES: for the Chugchilán Recycling Centre. Mining clay along the road to hand mix with straw and water.

Some things have been moving along very well with the project and other things have gone slowly. We recalculated exactly how many adobe bricks we would need and it came to approximately 800, this is because we are using several windows from the old market building. We made a contract with a neighbour to make 1000 bricks for $100. We also had to pay a different neighbour $10 for the clay used in the bricks. In the end we paid $10 extra for the contract to cover some of his food expenses. The transport of the bricks to the site cost $40 plus $5 for a lunch for the people moving the blocks. In total the adobe blocks cost us $0.16 ˝ each to make and deliver ($165).

The best part of making the adobes was seeing how the ECOCLUB Award moneys have immediately given paid work to our local community. Over the years local people have been loosing the tradition of building with clay and adobe. We have seen many old houses being replaced with cement blockhouses. But now when other community members saw that we were making adobes, they hired the same guy for 2 or 3 more contracts of 1000 adobes each. The copycat mentality has brought a return to traditional building methods!

Other good news is that the Italian Missionaries have volunteered to install a waterline to the recycling property. They also lent us a backhoe excavator to level the building site and to dig a 4-meter deep by 2.5-meter wide by 15-meter long trench. This will be enough landfill space for several years. The local president of the town council has organized 3 volunteer workdays for collecting rock and he also has asked the county mayor to send a dump truck to move the rocks down to the building site. We need rocks for the foundation. The property of the recycling centre has plenty of sand for mixing with the cement.

A talented guest volunteers to pain images on recycling signs above the three collection areas in the village, one right next to the church, depicted below:

We had a guest who was a talented artist paint images on the signs above the three collection areas in the village. We have added more worms to the ever-expanding compost bins. We have done a complete inventory of salvaged structural and roofing materials from a torn down town market building and have designed the new recycling centre. The building will be approximately 11 meters by 5 meters; one third of it will be a roofed outdoor patio. We are purchasing structural rebar for the foundation this week. We have also purchased 4 more garbage separation barrels, which will soon be painted. We are adding 2 more barrels to one of the village’s collection locations that receives the vast majority of waste. We also want to put 2 barrels inside the schoolyard for when elementary school resumes in September.

Once all the materials have been brought to the site the president of the town council will negotiate a contract to build the building; then we will purchase the cement, so that it does not go bad waiting for construction to begin. The president of the town council has been the main organizer that we are working with using the award money when needed. We will send an excel chart of all the spending.

Typically we move very fast on the projects that we are doing. But this time we want the community to have ownership of this project, so we have to step back and let people collaborate, even if it means waiting several weeks for something to be completed. Our gringo enthusiasm has met the realities of taking on a community project. Everything is actually going very well and we anticipate completing the project on time with many added flourishes!

Andres Hammerman & Michelle Kirby
Black Sheep Inn


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