USAID Lebanon DAWERR Activity Solicits Lebanese Innovators to Find and Develop Innovative Solid Waste Solutions

The USAID Lebanon Diverting Waste by Encouraging Reuse and Recycling (DAWERR) Activity is now accepting applications from Lebanese engineers, scientists, environmentalists, architects, creatives, innovators, entrepreneurs, and young professionals for anIdeathon”.  The Ideathon will engage these innovators to devise and launch novel sustainable solid waste management (SWM) solutions and business models that place a premium on recycling, reusing, and reducing, and protect human health and the natural environment. Such solutions are greatly needed in Lebanon, where SWM has been addressed mostly through a series of temporary fixes and emergency plans, often marked by illegal dumps, open burning, and unsanitary landfills.

Applicants with potentially promising ideas will be invited to a five-day event, with workshops in which they will learn more about SWM challenges in Lebanon, clinics where they will receive support from mentors and experts, and one day of pitching to a jury of experts. At the conclusion of the five-day event, participants with the most promising ideas will be invited to participate in a subsequent incubation program, which will help the teams validate and launch their business ideas. They will receive robust support including in-kind grants of up to $6,500 to finance first steps such as market research, branding, product design, website development, and legal registration. Initiatives that prove viable after this initial incubation phase will receive additional business and technical support and grants of up to $25,000 to pilot and scale their solutions.

USAID DAWERR is a five-year, $15 million activity implemented by ECODIT that is establishing sustainable and replicable integrated solid waste diversion and valorization solutions in rural areas of Lebanon. Through DAWERR, ECODIT and its partners—Compost Baladi, Berytech, and ECODIT Liban—are supporting USAID/Lebanon to introduce financially sustainable solutions that increase the reuse, recycling, and monetization of solid waste and reduce the amount of “residual” solid waste that goes into landfills. ECODIT is building the capacity and commitment of municipalities to provide improved SWM services, empowering communities to sort at the source and participate actively in various stages of the recycling value chains, and developing successful business models with the private sector through initiatives such as the Ideathon, that create green economic opportunities. The results will be improved health and social welfare and expanded economic horizons.

“ECODIT has a long history of working with USAID Lebanon to protect the country’s environment and enhance local livelihoods. We are looking forward to working with a range of Lebanon’s best minds to find innovative, new SWM solutions that will put the country on the path to sustainable solid waste recycling and management practices,” said ECODIT President Joseph Karam.

ECODIT is a U.S.-based small business with 27 years of experience working with governments, businesses and local communities to advance environmentally and socially responsible development around the world. The firm has implemented a number of environmental, water, energy and livelihood projects, both in Lebanon and around the world. To learn more about ECODIT, visit and follow the firm’s social media accounts on Facebook,LinkedIn, and Twitter.