Earn money in exchange for useful resources
Trash means trouble to the “Refuse Management & Sanitation Board” (RMSB) of Kano, Nigeria: The city generates around 10,000 tons of rubbish every day, but not even a third of it is properly reused, recycled or disposed of. The rest is often illegally burned and releases hefty amounts of methane and other greenhouse gases, as well as pollutants that pose health risks to the city’s inhabitants. This needed to change.
Spread the word on waste —
and what it’s worth
RMSB used town hall meetings, TV and radio to promote a new collaboration with the start-up “eTrash2Cash” to around 200,000 citizens. The start-up’s app and e-payment solution offers a chance to turn plastic, paper, metals, food, glass and other trash into cash, and primarily focuses on women with low incomes. Collectors can take trash to 20+ ‘recycling kiosks’ all around Kano, where the waste is sorted, processed and recycled into reusable products for use by the same community. In return, collectors earn 5-6 US dollars per month, which they can also opt to put towards health insurance — a first for many.
Providing equipment and raising awareness
The programme has collected more than 100 tons of trash since 2016, of which 93% has been recycled (e.g. into compost for smallholder farmers or raw material pellets for new plastic products), resulting in collector payouts totalling €14,000. Furthermore, RMSB provides financial assistance for the purchase of plastic recycling equipment, in addition to grassroots education on environmental sustainability and climate change for low-income communities.