As of today, Thursday, August 15, Waste2Work launches its first island-wide Waste2Design competition. Running until October 15, the objective is to uncover new talent on St. Maarten and raise awareness on upcycling waste materials.

Waste2Work believes there are a lot of St. Maarteners who are already upcycling in their home or community in many creative ways. The competition provides the opportunity for creative designers to shine. Top designs will be showcased at the St. Maarten Innovations, Industries Link-Up Event (SMILE), October 25-26.

Prizes are to be won for the top three creative and innovative designs made out of reusable waste materials. Prizes and corporate partners will be revealed during the course of the competition. Waste2Work calls on those creative designers to register now to showcase their talent and serve as an inspiration for communities on the island.

By means of the competition, Waste2Work wants to highlight how upcycling used products and materials can generate income and jobs. Upcycling is the process whereby an old or used object is transformed into something else with a different purpose.

Throughout the world, used goods are increasingly considered a resource instead of waste. Especially on St. Maarten, facing a significant waste challenge and devoid of natural resources such as timber and metals, this creates job opportunities.

At the same time, reusable materials will have a second life and are saved from ending up on the landfill.

Live furniture-making during last year’s SMILE event attracted high interest and demand. This year, the non-profit organisation wants to highlight and promote local designs and designers. The top design prototypes made by participants will be on display during the event to gain exposure and show visitors concrete examples of upcycling.

At Waste2Work, young St. Maarteners ages 18 to 25 have been trained in upcycling since January. In this upcycle centre, trainees are working daily to create furniture and home decor out of reusable waste materials. A majority of the designs produced are made with discarded construction wood that is cleaned, processed and varnished.

All products made at the upcycle centre are for sale to show the public that waste has value. The aim of Waste2Work is to encourage entrepreneurs to create their own small businesses using reusable waste materials.

High-end furniture made in St. Maarten by Waste2Work was featured during the Heineken Regatta, the St. Maarten/St. Martin Annual Regional Tradeshow (SMART) and last year’s SMILE event. Various restaurants and hotels also bought and use daily furniture made by the project.

To enter the competition and for more information, visit or contact Those willing to be present at the exhibition or interested in meeting the Waste2Work team at SMILE, can visit website or contact

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