All over the world, waste disposal and recycling represent viable business opportunities. Some elements are easier to recycle and the end product has a high value, while others (glass, poor quality plastics) are neither easy nor as profitable, and therefore not as appealing as a business.

In Cartagena, there was no reliable or consistent glass recycling scheme. Nor was there a facility for the disposal of organic waste for the growing tourism sector. 

We saw this as an opportunity.

The minimum wage in Colombia is around $250 per month. Many of the people in Bocachica support entire families on this or much less. We estimate unemployment in the village to be 70% or higher.

An activity that might generate too small a profit to be of interest to a recycling or waste facility, could change a family's life here. 

Income from the sale of compost and garden produce, building sand from crushed glass, crafts handmade from discarded items, reuse centres and selling recyclables such as oil, card, paper, metal and plastic are providing entrepreneurial and employment opportunities for local people here.

We have set up the infrastructure  and training to make this happen. But there is more to do!  

a peso can go a very long way

multiple income streams

In addition to income from sales of compost, garden produce, crafts and sand, Green Apple raises funds through:

  • A per kilo charge for the recycling of glass bottles and/or food waste

  • Donations from participating business' clients, for example: 

    • ‘round up my bill’ to the nearest 1,000 pesos 

    • a 'Green Apple' item on the menu with a fixed donation to GA

    • optional  ‘environmental offset’ added to hotel stays, boat rides and beach days

  • Provision of consulting services to businesses seeking to be sustainable

  • Donations from private individuals, trusts and suppliers

  • Donations from events and tours of the foundation 

  • Profits from sales of merchandise and souvenirs.

As a social enterprise, it's crucial for Green Apple to secure regular and reliable income through the provision of valuable, paid-for services.


To further develop some of our projects this year, we're looking for funding and support-in-kind.  Like any other not-for-profit, Green Apple actively seeks funding and donations from private individuals, businesses and government grants. If you'd like to support our projects, get in touch - be it to donate, or to give skills or tools.