Waste management is a huge environmental issue bedeviling all African countries with social, economic, and aesthetic implications.
In cities across Africa, waste litters the streets, clogs up the gutters, piles up in open-air dump sites, competes with the fish in the ocean, and in extreme cases, waste is dumped on roadsides. Clearly, these do not make for healthy living.
If the continent still hopes to achieve its 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, then all hands need to be on deck to ensure that sustainable waste management practices are adopted.
Environmental and public health deserves priority from governments, organizations, the manufacturing industry, and end-users. To that end, innovative recycling startups have risen to the occasion, leveraging technology to address Africa’s waste problem.
Below are 7 randomly selected startups you might want to check out.
In 2017, Chad Robertson founded Regenize. The startup is a recycling collection service that’s focused on getting South Africans to recycle through incentivization and education.
For instance, residents who separate their waste and give it to Regenize are rewarded with vouchers which they can use to shop.
The platform also partners with waste pickers and equips them with uniforms, recycling tricycles, and smartphones which connects them to residents that separate their recyclables.
A tech-enabled plastics recycling company, Mr. Green Africa is disrupting the current informal and exploitative plastic recycling sector throughout Kenya.
Established by Kieran Smith in 2014, Mr. Green Africa leverages business as a force for a good model to drive sustainable, long-term social, environmental and economic impact through the collection, conversion, and selling of post-consumer plastic waste.
Launched by Folashade and Victor Amusa in 2016, Vicfold is a Nigeria-based recycling startup.
Initially, Vicfold used a waste-buy-back approach to collect plastic waste from households and store it for processing. The plastics are then converted into usable resins that are sold as feedstock to manufacturers of household plastics, egg crates, synthetic fiber, plastic furniture.
Upon expansion, the startup now collaborates with campuses in Kwara state to build recycle parks where plastic waste is collected and stored.
This innovative startup views waste collection not just as an end in itself, but also as a way of bringing about social impacts in the underprivileged communities in Lagos, Nigeria.
Founded by Bikliss Adebiyi, Wecyclers gives households in low-income communities a chance to gain value from their waste, while providing a reliable supply of raw materials to the local recycling industry.
Kenya’s startup EcoPost is a manufacturing business that launched out of a huge demand for eco-friendly and sustainable fencing posts and the availability of waste plastics.
EcoPost’s technology processes 100% plastic waste and turns it into aesthetic, durable, and environmentally friendly lumber for use in applications ranging from fencing to construction and outdoor furniture.
Mostafa el-Nabi founded Baramoda in 2018 as the first agritech startup in the Middle East and Africa to specialize in sustainable agriculture.
Based in Egypt, the startup aims to provide innovative solutions to maximize the efficiency of agri-waste management through a recycling process.
This Egyptian startup was launched by Alaa Afifi Kamal in 2017. With Bekia, people have an opportunity to sell their household waste like plastic, electronics, paper, or cooking items and earn points that could be used to purchase things like groceries, school supplies, metro tickets, and mobile credits.