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Charlotte represents Ecuador in 2016 Spinway.

Ecological low-cost construction materials.

Ecological low-cost construction materials.

Charlotte Berrezueta, a fifth-semester student at Yachay Tech University, will participate in The Spin Way, the biggest entrepreneurship university event that gathers students from all of the countries from the Ibero-American region, where they can develop entrepreneurship with the support of leaders from the private, academic and public sector. The event is organized by Tecnológico de Monterrey, RedEmprendia Uninova, and Santiago de Compostela University. Additionally, it is supported by the Cotec Foundation and Santander Bank. This year, Charlotte was the only Ecuadorian entrepreneur that was selected amongst over 300 students.  

The project that Charlotte will develop during the event proposes the creation of ecological low-cost construction materials using solid waste like plastic, cardboard, and Styrofoam. The objective is to take advantage of the features of each of these products to create materials. For instance shredding and melting plastic is useful to create resistant construction blocks; cardboard and paper can be mixed with materials like clay to create greatly resistant bricks. Styrofoam, also known as expanded polystyrene, could be used in the construction sector and to create containers.

Charlotte chose this project because according to World Wildlife Fund data, five thousand tons of solid waste are produced in Santa Cruz Island, Galápagos. Burying waste underground is very difficult due to the volcanic origin of the islands and because it does not have a large topsoil strip. This problem affects the preservation of such fragile and unique ecosystem like the one that Galapagos has. With the implementation of the recycling program that began in 2006, it has been possible to classify solid waste exceeding 1.6 million kg; sorting waste into categories. The materials for Charlotte’s project fit this proposal that is already in execution.

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