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ECOCLUB Celebrates Earth Day with Photo Essay Competition on Waste Management in Tourism

Athens, 21 March 2007

Following a member vote, and a tight contest the Photo Essay "Chariot & Castle of the King of Garbage" by Andres Hammerman & Michelle Kirby, of Black Sheep Inn, Ecuador (Web: has won the 2nd Earth Day Photo Essay Competition. The prize is Euros 150 worth of ecological products!

This year's theme was Tourism Rubbish! Or, more politely: Best practices in Waste Management in Tourism. Minimising Waste is at the heart of Ecotourism, both in a literal and a figurative sense. Garbage is Waste, but so is Luxury. In our competition however, the emphasis was on positive, innovative examples of management of waste resulting from tourist-related activities.

The runner-up, was a photo essay entitled "Protecting the reeds & ducks" by Francisco Sandoval of Eco-Hotel Uxlabil Atitlan, Guatemala (Web:

Congratulations to the winner and all participants, and thanks to the Members who voted.

Full results below:

1. "Chariot & Castle of the King of Garbage" - Ecuador  [28.95%]
2. "Protecting the reeds & ducks" - Guatemala [15.79%]
3. "Keep Hampi Clean" - India [13.16%]
3. "Composting Toilet" - Ecuador [13.16%]
5. "Moonsie, our waste management solution" - USA [10.53%]
6. "Waterless Toilet Bus at China's busiest national park" - China [7.89%]
7. "Kiddy Bins in VUDA Park" - India [5.26%]
8. "Crann Og (Young Tree)" - Ireland [5.26%]

To see all the interesting photo essays, please click here

The winning photo essay is included below:

"Chariot & Castle of the King of Garbage" - Ecuador

or “Recycling Centre Built from Recycled Materials”

The impetus for this project came from a local ecolodge. This photo taken on January 10th 2007 shows the recycling centre of Chugchilán during construction. Walls are built out of locally made adobes; columns and roofing material were salvaged from the remains of another building in the village centre. Five gallon jugs from cooking oil, biodegradable soaps and shampoos are being reused to transport water. Local county mayor donated the 3-wheeled vehicle to transport organic and inorganic waste to the recycling site.

The building was completed in January and is weekly receiving waste from the village of Chugchilán. 50% of the waste by volume is organic and is being composted; the other 50% is classified into carton, soft and hard plastic, aluminum, batteries, metal and stored in the recycling centre.

Local city council and a community fund established by a local ecolodge cover the salaries of recycling workers. Proceeds from recycled materials go directly to the people sorting in order to give them an incentive for better classifying. Tourists participate in clean up days.

In March 2007, high schools students from the capital city collaborated with local high school students to paint a mural on the recycling centre. Finished composted waste will first be used in a newly built public park in the village centre. This recycling centre is built from salvaged materials that were taken from and old building that was demolished in order to make space for the Park. Ironically, “What comes around goes around.”

Future plans for the composted fertilizer includes planting native trees and planting grass on a local soccer field.

Michelle Kirby & Andres Hammerman
Black Sheep Inn, Ecuador

Media Partner of the Global Ecotourism Conference
May 14-16, Oslo, Norway

Supporting Media of the Lao Ecotourism Forum
July 26-29, Vientiane, Laos

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