Banking trash for money and housing - A Poor people's GREEN BANK for sustainable Livelhoods

Banking trash for money and housing - A Poor people's GREEN BANK for sustainable Livelhoods

Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

it is simply about having poorest populations allover poorest settings worldwide afford daily meals and modest housing.We aim to enact Trash Banks in poor resourced areas.Here the poor will bank waste plastics and metal and in turn get their money at the GREEN BANK. They will be able to save recyclable wastes on their bank accounts and receive housing mortgages of which in return they pay by banking trash. workshops on poverty and trainings take place but poor people remain at the bottom of their miseries. They do not own property nor documentation to access microfinance. The results of many workshops on poverty are a requirement to produce "work payment slips", "Guarantees", "Referees" in order to get a small loan to begin work.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Young people have been left homeless by mothers who die of AIDS. Mothers who have lived in slum areas without sustainable income. Miseries continue up to the born child who does not find any available resources on earth in order to go to school and ending up with a demand to survive thus even before they attain working age they will either work in the sexwork industry or as waste pickers to be able to continue with life. Some waste pickers have been born to AIDS infected mothers long before campaigns to stop the virus from entering the baby in the womb were stepped up, a big number of them are now grown up with HIV. And because of the prevailing stigma and lack of education, it is in the waste collection and disposal service where the disadvantaged boys, girls, women and men can work without pre-employment requirements. Visiting the landfills, you will get stunned by the age group and women in big numbers scavenging through the fatally stinking huge mountains of wastes for recyclable items, wastes full of oozing foul liquid mixed with fresh clinical blood which garbage trucks empty at the dumpsite. Sadly, the plastic and metal wastes are then sold off at an exploitative price to middlemen, who in turn resell them to the recycling industries; these middlemen claim the recyclable wastes are dirty and not well packed and the sale ‘estimates’ are usually judged with eye not by weight. When they complain, they are requested to provide their own weighing scale which they do not possess. Even those middlemen who turn up with scales, the weighing machines have already been tampered with. Profits are thus held by the middle dealers and there are no legal bonds between these middlemen and the Waste Pickers. Furthermore, waste collectors skip lunch and have no available drinking water to manage their heavily demanding immune systems. And because of the fatally polluted atmosphere, even those who are not HIV positive require maintained nutritional support to cope up with the body’s demanding aspect to resist foreign intrusion. Waste pickers medical expenses rise due to frequent infections and lack of nutritional support. Savings if any will go down, victims miss work; money and time gets diverted from business towards the sickness. As they get extremely low income, which they cannot even save for relatively decent housing and other social expenses, some waste pickers take on picking and eating discarded inedible stuff. There is ongoing political, social and economic challenges and pervasive inequality with the majority of people living below the poverty line. These social and economic challenges include: the changing political dynamics, ineffectual leadership, increases in corruption and overprotection of officials. There is also uneven government capability to deliver on the required transformations such as municipal services, rampant unemployment, and an increasing crime statistics. There are no jobs for the population. Nevertheless, working conditions of marginalised populations are faced by fatal law enforcement risks. The escalating food and fuel costs and the increase in state abuse of human rights call for innovative interventions. Jobs in the informal sector are poor remunerated jobs with no fixed wages and no tenure of employment,city council laws affect most of informal workplaces and the common man is always vulnerable to loosing capital and merchandise as a result of raids to enforce the law by state law enforcement.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

With this different approach, the Green Bank; Vulnerable people will no longer go without food, Wastes can provide huge resources for the poor if fair trade is applied. This flexible aproach will increase picking of wastes which will ease earth of plastic and metal toxics. Poor people will be able to sell plastic wastes and metal at considerable foreign market prices an advantage that will steadily develop livelihoods. The bank innovately lays provision to bypass middlemen, dismantle the monopolistic markets, link poorest populations with sales abroad and thus increase poor people’s earnings for decent livelihoods.Wastes would be purchased from the local poor at foreign markets prices. The initiative would in addition provide for a housing mortgage facility for the poorest populations and would enact a very small membership fee paid in form of trash. no capital needed,any volume accepted to be saved with the bank as long as it can fit in our Bank hole. The local buyers of wastes refer to the word 'waste' to exploit the seller whom they tell that it is waste that is being sold and they have to accept the offers. As middlemen buy at exploitative prices, the poor have to collect huge volumes to get resonable money but do not have preparation and storage facilities that include cleaning and proper baling and thus they will sell small volumes exploitatively. The poor live in slums and work in environments where they are vulnerable to fatal diseases, thus the small money earned in the process is always diverted to healing contracted diseases, sinking them further into poverty.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Wastes are available everywhere, however the people who pick recyclable wastes earn very little money yet the process again costs them their health. we aim to give power to this economic opportunity by linking the local poor to international markets through putting in place trash banks in poor resourced areas and slum based trash banks, a system whereby poor people can bank trash and claim money on their accounts with the GREEN BANK. The bank would initially accept volumes of polythene, plastic wastes and metal wastes tied up in sacks that fit through the bank hole, fitted with a name tag of the person putting in the wastes and marked with the volume (Kilograms) banked. A weighing machine and writing ball point would be available in the bank. The tags given out to potential clients, ten in number per month would be provided by the trash bank tag provision points for free to people who would hold accounts with the bank and who would like to bank trash for money. The clients would at anytime go to the Green Bank and pick money. A housing programme would be engaged whereby the Green Bank purchases huge areas of land, partitions them, build simple 3 roomed houses which would be mortgaged out to people proved to be poor and under-resourced. They would then pay by banking trash within an agreed period. The Green Bank aims to break the exploitative sales of wastes to middlemen who sell to bigger companies. The Bank would lobby for socially minded companies abroad to purchase its plastic wastes.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Large well established firms who already poses storage space and transport facilities are our competitors. Although they would cut down the price at which they buy plastics we would still grow steadily as the supplies(waste scavengers) would have access to our trash banks in their respective slum dwellings. nevertheless, the competition would promote high fees for the poor waste collector, which is part of our target to dismantle the exploitative purchases by these firms
About You
Waste Pickers Alliance Uganda
About You
First Name


Last Name


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About Your Organization
Organization Name

Waste Pickers Alliance Uganda

Organization Country


Country where this project is creating social impact


How long has your organization been operating?

1‐5 years

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What stage is your project in?

Idea phase

Share the story of the founder and what inspired the founder to start this project

I have worked with poor marginalized communities for the last nine years who included Porters, Refuse collectors and Sexworkers, building their capacities to defend their rights and address corporate social responsibilities. The time spent with these marginalized populations won me the spirit and wealth of knowledge of how best programmes can benefit their needs. I have continued lobbying for decent working conditions and fair trade for the waste pickers, seeking to ensure economic and social protection of these disadvantaged populations. Im the founder of the INFORMAL WORKERS RIGHTS PROTECTION AGENCY(

Social Impact
Please describe how your project has been successful and how that success is measured

It is still in the idea phase

How many people have been impacted by your project?


How many people could be impacted by your project in the next three years?

More than 10,000

How will your project evolve over the next three years?

We hope to extend the BANK to other parts of the country to be able to receive larger volumes of plastic wastes for export to China where the demand is huge with market price of US $2036.41 to 8639.31 per ton. we will ask social assistance from the Triodos Microfinance fund ( assist in the development of our motgage programme, this motgage program will also increase inflow of plastic wastes which will enable us ship larger volumes of PET plastic to china where the market is enourmously big.the income will build our asset base although we would solicit for funding to enable us own automatic balling machines and a flat bed truck to minimise hiring.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

security at the trash Bank which would be bypassed by making concreat slubs. we are also concerned with the development of the system that will automatically weigh the plastic/metal waste inserted and issue an acknowledgement reciept once someone puts in waste, But Im confident that software developers can do this.

Tell us about your partnerships

There are lots of firms in Europe and China working in the waste recycling sector with whom we hope to partner. we will always attend the largest Waste and Recycling exhibition that takes place in Birminghum UK every year. the exhibition gathers large numbers of companies who show case technology and skills in the sector. here we would meet and creat partnerships emphasising our social aproach to the business.

Explain your selections

with a social aproach, foundations and other NGOS concerned with poverty and the environment would support our work. Busineses would also support our work citing the United Nations Global Compact. selling our merchandise to the customers is another support at our disposal

How do you plan to strengthen your project in the next three years?

we aim to expose our social aproach to various foundations worldwide seeking for support to maximise our intervention. for an increased income initially, we will step up sales of metal within metal work industries in the country and also in Kenya. The vast income from foreign markets can even sustain the project without soliciting for funding

Which barriers to employment does your innovation address?
Please select up to three in order of relevancy to your project.




Restricted access to new markets


Lack of visibility and investment

Please describe how your innovation specifically tackles the barriers listed above.

with the guranteed favourable sales,we aim to creat a world that works, every jobless poor person will be employed, picking plastic wastes and metal allover the places at their disposal and selling directly to high profit markets abroad through the Green Bank. the GREEN BANK would face the risks while the poor people would achieve maximum benefits.

Are you trying to scale your organization or initiative?
If yes, please check up to three potential pathways in order of relevancy to you.


Other (please specify below)


Other (please specify below)


Other (please specify below)

Please describe which of your growth activities are current or planned for the immediate future.

we aim to sell large volumes of plastic waste to foreign countries and also immediately solicit for support for our housing motgage programme once our initiative wins. we will sell sole rights to entepreunurs all over the world where possible for those who can afford. replication in countries where poverty is bitting hard will be free to local entrprenuers

Do you collaborate with any of the following: (Check all that apply)

Technology providers, NGOs/Nonprofits, For profit companies.

If yes, how have these collaborations helped your innovation to succeed?

not yet