For Ziad Abi Chaker, “There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed (Ray Goforth)”. Ziad, in his entrepreneurial journey, succeeded in facing all the challenges, and founded Cedar Environmental, a company specialized in solid waste recycling.
Meet Ziad Abi Chaker.
- What is Cedar Environmental? How did you start with it?
Cedar is an environmental and industrial engineering company specializing in building solid waste recycling plants on the communal level. I started Cedar back in New Jersey when I was a second year engineering student at Rutgers University College of Engineering.
- Was it easy to come up with Cedar Environmental in Lebanon?
The need for proper waste management exists in most countries and Lebanon is no exception…However, establishing recycling projects here is not a straightforward affair; there is a lot of incompetence and corruption that you have to navigate through to find honest and visionary presidents of municipalities who see the importance of environmental protection in their areas. That has been a real challenge plus the legal framework for collecting taxes for recycling is nonexistent yet but the way things are going it is going to be implemented soon otherwise the waste crisis is going to reach a point of no return….
- What are your goals? In addition, what are your main achievements?
Our main achievements are 3 patents in technologies related to waste management: the first one is a technology to accelerate the composting cycle from 90 days to just 3 and this has been a huge advantage for us over other composting technologies, the second is a patented process to treat slaughterhouse waste which is another major headache in most countries and the final and dearest to my heart is a technology we developed to transform plastic bags into panel boards which can be used in a plethora of applications from green walls to prefab houses… These three technologies have enabled us to practice a Zero Waste to the Landfill approach in recycling plants and therefore our focused goal for now is to build such a recycling plant and put all these technologies under one roof….
- What are the products/services you offer?
We provide a waste management service to municipalities, private sector companies, industries and food service establishments. We also do green walls and green roofs at a fraction of the current going rate in the market … We are also big in Organically certified fertilizer production.
- What were/are the challenges you faced/are facing?
We are mainly challenged by finding the right local partners to establish recycling plants around the country; Oddly enough, we do not have financial challenges, and our money supply is always guaranteed. Nevertheless, finding the right municipality or union of municipalities to undertake such a complex endeavor has been quite an exercise in patience.
- What are your future projects?
We are now developing 2 major environmental technologies, one for dealing with the Pharmaceutical waste and the other for industrial waste and the early results are extremely encouraging…We are quite confident than in the next 5 years Lebanon will have all the right technologies to achieve a Zero Waste to the Landfill goal.
- Who is Ziad Abi Chaker?
A Passionate, stubborn son of a gun…
- A message to the Lebanese…
Keep the faith… We are at a very important juncture of our history as a people and a country…there is no doubt in my mind that we will stick together and take Lebanon to the safe shore…