About Kay Blada
Kay Blada ("Blada's House" in English) is a social enterprise which was founded in December 2015 with the purpose of taking direct action to remove plastic trash from the streets of Haiti. There are many kinds of plastic being used in Haiti which have become recyclable only very recently. Because recycling of consumer plastics is still so new to Haiti, it is practiced by a very small fraction of the population. Recyclable plastic waste pollutes the streets, waterways, canals, rivers and beaches. Additionally, plastic waste is often burned for disposal, which creates an extremely toxic smoke byproduct that harms people’s health.
Kay Blada seeks to solve Haiti’s severe plastic waste problem while also creating local jobs and educating the public about the benefits of recycling. The process begins when Kay Blada’s plastic collectors gather plastic waste from Haiti’s streets and waterways. The plastic is brought to Kay Blada’s facility in Hinche, where it is sorted, weighed, and packaged for transport to plastic recycling companies in Port Au Prince. Finally, the plastic is broken down and resold to manufacturing companies for reuse.
The proceeds from the recycled plastic provide a way for Kay Blada’s collectors to make a meager income. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with over 70% of the population living below the poverty level. The income from recycling plastic allows Kay Blada’s collectors to pay for food and school for their children when they otherwise could not afford it (there is no free public school in Haiti).
In order to educate the local communities about recycling, Kay Blada sends representatives to the schools and churches to speak about the value of recycling, the danger of plastic burning, and the benefits of a cleaner community through sustainable practices. Additionally, Kay Blada hosts monthly radio talks and street-side gatherings to spread its messageand goals for a cleaner Haiti.
Since its founding in December 2015, Kay Blada has collected over 25,000 pounds of plastic and 2000 pounds of aluminum. Those bottles and cans are equivalent in weight to more than three American monster trucks. Additionally, Kay Blada has received over $3,500 in private donations, and employs over 50 collectors and 2 full-time workers from the local community.
Now, Kay Blada is seeking funding to scale its operations and reach while continuing to pay its collectors a fair wage. With more funding, Kay Blada will have access to more effective collection tools, processing facilities, employee training, plastic transportation vehicles, and local marketing. Every contribution helps Kay Blada to fulfill its mission of creating local jobs, educating the community, and cleaning up the environment. Donations to Kay Blada are processed securely through Stripe payments and Squarespace, and can be accessed through the donate buttons in the bottom left corner of each page on this website.
Scroll down to read about Kay Blada’s founder, Johnson Desauguste. Also, be sure to view our social media pages, news updates, and photo gallery to learn more!
About The Founder
Johnson Desauguste (a.k.a. “Blada”), the founder of Kay Blada, is a native of Cap Haitien who has resided in the US since 2013. Johnson, having grown up in Haiti, has witnessed both the extreme poverty and environmental devastation that plagues the country, as well as the well-intentioned yet misdirected and uninformed actions of the multitude of NGO’s that function there. This led Blada to create a company that focuses on the communities in which it operates, with the goal of educating and employing Haitian citizens while reducing plastic waste in the environment.
When Kay Blada was initiated in December 2015, Blada did not have any mentionable funding to get his project going. He started a GoFundMe campaign in order to get things started. Blada invested large amounts of time and money to make sure that he could find people to work with him, find a space to work in Hinche, Haiti, have his staff trained, create relationships with companies in Port au Prince, and figure out the exact terms and expectations of each company. The first 6 months were difficult, mostly due to lack of funds and lack of face to face communication with the staff and companies in Haiti. Now, Blada has just returned from a three month trip to Haiti and is looking forward to continuing his mission of reducing unemployment and plastic waste in Haiti.