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harnesses the power of urban communities to reclaim neighborhoods from unmanaged waste using a crowd sourced rewards-for-recycling


Summary / Résumé

Uncollected trash is a very big problem in developing regions of the world, especially Africa.
According to a World Bank Urban Development Series report, Africa currently produces just about 70 million tons of waste every year. With its rapid urbanization and growing economies, waste production in Africa will exceed 160 million tons by the year 2025.
Waste is a problem because it causes pollution, disease and environmental crisis when it’s not properly disposed. The good news is, most of the waste produced in Africa can be recycled and reused to create new products. Sadly, only about 10 percent of the waste generated every day in Africa is collected. The rest usually ends up in illegal dump sites, gutters and drainage in Africa’s cities.

What actions do you propose? / Quelles actions proposez-vous?

A low-cost, convenient recycling service using a fleet of low-cost cargo tricycles and an SMS-based incentives platform.This service involves door to door collection of recyclable waste from households by waste busters on a weekly basis to avoid those recyclable waste getting into landfills, dumpsites, water bodies and drainages and in turn reward them with points which when accrued will be used to redeem household items, electronics or cash. After every collection the recyclable waste are sent to the central sorting facility where it will be processed and ready to be sold to the local manufacturers who uses them as raw-materials.

Which types of stakeholders are involved, in which way? / Quels types de parties prenantes sont impliqués, de quelle façon?

Local suppliers of low-cost cargo tricycles
tech and app development support company (for the sms based incentive platform)
Households ( for easy waste collection)
Waste busters ( employed youths who go for the collection of the waste from households)
Sorters ( employed women and youths who sorts the waste on arrival and separate them according to types like. Plastic, aluminum can, carton, glass, iron, old newspaper, etc)
Recycling machine manufacturers ( sale and maintenance of recycling machines) 

How could the actions be scaled up at the neighborhood or city level? / Comment serait-il possible d'augmenter la portée des actions à l'échelle des quartiers ou de la ville?

Awareness creation/ community engagement: creating awareness for totally participation of all households in the community to take advantage of capturing value from their waste.

partnering with lending organizations who can provide loans to micro-entrepreneurs to set up small scale businesses collecting the recyclable waste
We intend to setup Recycling Kiosks at strategic positions in the various cities we operate, to act as drop-off centers for recyclable materials and offer unique environmental enlightenment lounge for senior citizens. These manned Recycling Kiosks will promote accessibility and increase recycling rates.

With the use of a Mobile app, households can easily access the nearest drop off centre nearest to them
Partnering with other existing players by providing them with a solution that works and an opportunity to be part of our program, we will enable them leverage on their skills

Devising a training program and will work with  community groups to find suitable micro-entrepreneurs for the program

What impact will these actions have on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change? / Quels impacts auront ces actions sur la réduction des émissions de gaz à effet de serre et l'adaptation aux changements climatiques?

Reduces waste burning : Weekly waste collection discourages waste burning. Burning waste is not only a nuisance to neighbours; it can release many harmful chemicals into the air you breathe.   Many people may think that they are doing the right thing in reducing the amount of waste going to landfill and saving money but they are both causing long term environmental pollution and interfering with the lives of others living in their area.  Burning waste in your home or garden can damage your health, as well as that of your children and your neighbours.  Such illegal practices lead to the release of toxic dioxins which are a real hazard for peoples’ health and the environment.
Cleaner environment:
Effective waste collection for recycling reduces the quantity of waste that ends up on dumpsites, landfills, water bodies  and also reduces the emission of CO2 to the atmosphere. It is said that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the water with this solution it also Improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials having the proportion of untreated waste water and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally.  
By Recycling:
Material recycling can decrease both the direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions. It is possible to substitute virgin material with recovered material and consequently avoid the emissions from virgin product extraction and manufacturing. Moreover, in most cases the replacement of virgin materials by recycled materials decreases the use of net energy and thus the greenhouse gas emissions originating from energy production decrease. Lastly, material recycling reduces the amount of waste disposed of at landfill sites and thereby the amount of greenhouse gas emissions released from landfills. However, the most efficient way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in waste management is to reduce consumption and thereby reduce waste generation.

What are the other environmental, economic or social benefits? / Quels sont les autres bénéfices environnementaux, économiques et sociaux?

Environmental benefit:
Reduces the problem of indiscriminate waste disposal
Reduces the spread of malaria from clogged drainages
Reduces flooding
Reduces air pollution from waste burning

Social benefit
Solves the issue of unemployment amongst women and youths
Awareness creation on environmental sustainability

Economic benefit:
Availability and affordability of raw-materials in the plastic Manufacturing sector
Resuscitate the economy through waste export and promote local content through made in Nigeria drive.

What are the most innovative aspects and main strengths of this approach? / Quels sont les aspects novateurs et les principales forces de cette approche?

A low-cost, convenient recycling service using a fleet of electric cargo tricycles:
the low-cost Cargo Tricycles that our Waste Busters use for door-to-door collection, allows us to haul large volumes of materials to our Collection & Sorting Hubs, where they are processed into Bales & sold.

an SMS-based incentives platform:
Our solution is an incentive based collection scheme that allocates Points to the quantity of recyclable items neatly collected at the point of disposal by post-consumers, who in turn use the earned Points to redeem numerous identified household items and services offered as incentives. Recyclers get an SMS alert notification each time they recycle, to inform on the number of "Points" gained. Thereafter, the Points gained could be traded in exchange for numerous items each tagged with a certain number of Points needed to redeem them. E.g., with 100,000 Points one can redeem a laptop.

Use of mobile app for households to locate nearest drop off centre and redeem their accrued point for household items

What are the proposal’s projected costs? / Quels sont les coûts projetés de la proposition?

Production of (20) low-cost cargo tricycle  each for. $500.          $10000

creation of sms based incentive software platform that will be used to reward points to subscribers.   $3000

Cost of baling & shredding machine. $5000 (baling machine) and $7000 ( shredding machine).

Cost of constructing a sorting/collection hub facility $15000
  Total: $25,000

What are the potential challenges or obstacles? / Quels sont les défis ou les obstacles potentiels?

Inconsistency in weekly waste collection
Loss of willingness from households in participating in the reward  for waste program
Financial challenges in meeting up with the administrative and operational cost.

About the authors / À propos des auteur(e)s

Ugonna Nwekwuru is a social entrepreneur running Gedeihen Recyclers which is Nigeria's foremost waste recycling and social benefit venture with focus on environmental sustainability, women empowerment, youth employment and community engagement. Contributing our quota to fostering Circular Economy and poverty eradication. In summary I'm a development enthusiast with special interest in development at the grass-root level.

References / Références