Wastespace’s mission is to build a community hub for sustainability and gender equity in Vieques, Puerto Rico, through infrastructure innovation and entrepreneurship. By reconfiguring current modes of waste collection and recycling, this project disrupts the island’s waste-stream and extracts those materials suitable for reprocessing to produce value-added goods. Today such source materials ended up in the landfill, which is rapidly nearing its maximum capacity and poses a threat to Vieques’ sustainability and environmental health.
Wastespace will provide access to tools and equipment for reprocessing collected recycled materials to marketable products ranging from tiles to furniture to clipboards. Training to build and operate the tools, and produce marketable products will be integral to wastespace.
Reintroducing these reprocessed waste materials into the market provides an important opportunity to rethink the island’s economy and empower female residents. Programming will be geared towards providing classes and workshops oriented toward women, who have systematically been absent from roles within the existing labor force, and who are interested in skill-sharing and entrepreneurial initiatives.

Site Selection: Daily Patterns of Use in Downtown Isabel Segunda & Urban Context

Employment Status & Income in Vieques (2017)

A modern “shed” made of inexpensive materials readily available on Vieques

As plastics move through the building, they go through a number of changes:
1. Plastic waste is collected, shredded and stored in the waste collection space.
2. This shredded plastic is then processed through extrusion, injection or compression molding to create new plastic products.
3. Reprocessed plastic products are sold in the store, and can also be displayed in exhibitions. 
Wastespace is available for other programming needs in addition to plastic reprocessing.

Plastics are processed using open-source, cheap, easy to assemble machines

Programming Calendar: A typical month of classes and events 

Waste collection hubs exist at multiple points throughout the island, while the full building exists in one central location

The daycare center increases access to Wastespace by providing opportunities for people to participate even if there is a need to take care of children during workshop or working hours.  The workshop is easily accessible from the waste collection space and has a direct view of the daycare. Wastespace’s interior finishes, wherever possible, are fabricated on-site.
The outdoor space serves as a vital connection between the programs, as adjustable screens serve as partition walls that can generate spaces to function as exhibition, workshop, or daycare spaces. The building’s exterior exhibits various levels of openness through adjustable partition walls - it can function as a play area, exhibition, community or workshop space.
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