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Afrecycle: Community Recycling Initiative (Sub-Saharan Africa)

Lusaka, ZambiaZambia
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$250,000 - $500,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

Community recycling centres facilitating a transparent network for sustainable waste management, supported by educational initiatives to raise environmental and waste awareness.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if we could support small scale entrepreneurs whilst safeguarding the environment and improving conditions in the poorest urban areas?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

In rapidly developing African cities there is little or no waste management. Zambia is no exception, with limited government funding, landfill over capacity and private waste collection services unaffordable to many residents. A large proportion of waste is buried or burnt illegally, causing environmental degradation. In poor urban areas water and sanitation problems are currently compounded by drains blocked with litter.

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

A community based model that enables small scale entrepreneurs to generate sustainable income whilst promoting environmental stewardship and conscious consumerism. Recycling recoverable waste streams to create efficient and sustainable systems.
Impact: How does it Work

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Scaling up will involve the creation of futher community recycling centres across the country to create an open network for small scale entrepreneurs to trade waste materials. Recycling centres will be run in conjunction with widespread cause-related marketing and educational campaigns supported by the corporate sector as well as key partnerships with environmental and social NGOs and the government bodies.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

We will grow our reach to build community centres in other Zambian urban areas, followed by expansion into surrounding countries. Bordering seven other sub-Saharan African countries, Zambia is the ideal hub for this project.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Past the initial phases, the project will become self sustaining through the sale of materials. We will also create relationships with businesses to manage their corporate responsibility and create closed loop product lifecycle systems where possible. By facilitating a new market, we aim to provide a cost effective and efficient model.

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

At present the majority of waste is sent to landfill, via government or private waste collectors, or is burnt or buried on private property. Many see the waste collection charges as unaffordable and they are not accessible by the poorest communities or some urban districts. Recycling is not currently an available option for most businesses and individuals. Afrecycle will fill the gap of environmentally and socially responsible waste management.