In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Maria, local residents Richard Rognlie and Kayla James-Rognlie of Salty Dominica approached the Rotary Club of Portsmouth with the idea to build a plastics shredder and an extrusion machine to help rid the environment of excessive plastic waste, including thousands of relief water bottles shipped to Dominica.
Salty Dominica and the Rognlies with the encouragement of the Rotary Club donated components for the shredder. Several months into the effort Rory Dickens joined the effort. He had originally come to Dominica as part of the staff of the charity All Hands and Hearts, here to rebuild the Primary School in Paix Bouche. Rory Dickens had been working with the organization since 2015 in the Philippines, Ecuador, Peru, Nepal and the British Virgin Islands.
These various charitable endeavors led Rory to see the importance in seeking entrepreneurial solutions to social problems. Dickens, who received a Masters in Architecture from Robert Gordon University in Scotland, brought his design ingenuity to manufacturing an injection device largely out of scrap components found locally.
In April of this year he founded his own charitable foundation, Recycle Rebuild, which is an accredited SCIO in Scotland. It is through this organization that he formed a working partnership with the Rotary Club of Portsmouth to develop and build a plastics recycling facility utilizing the source design developed by David Hakkens Precious Plastics Global Initiative in Holland. This is an open source design resource available to communities.
The goal is to take Dominica’s discarded plastic and turn it into usable and saleable items for the benefit of Dominicans. The Rotary Club of Portsmouth and Rory Dickens’ Recycle Rebuild plan to have a pilot, which includes a shredder and injection molding machine functioning by the end of May.
The organizations will be seeking additional funding to establish a central recycling center in the Portsmouth area within the next six months at which point the product becomes for Dominicans and run by Dominicans.
This article was originally published on Rotary Club of Portsmouth’s website.