Across the developing world, millions of companies, households and farms are creating trash, including plastics, agricultural by-products, food waste, cardboard and various other materials. Most of this is crudely dumped on road sides, water bodies or burnt in open fields creating pollution. This is compounded by inadequate policing of rules, economic pressures, reluctant administrators, corruption and absence of viable recycling and disposal options.

Ecopost is an integrated waste management company and social enterprise based in Nairobi, Kenya. We utilise waste plastic and agricultural waste as a resource to manufacture sustainable materials for the building, construction and transport industries.

We’ve developed and use an innovative cloud based waste management app suited for future smart cities to manage and pay for waste/raw material collections.

We employ a point based reward system for suppliers and a micro-franchise model for the agents and similar to that used by mobile money agents in Kenya. The agents receive the waste and measure the weight (kgs) and moisture content (%) and log the info into the app. The supplier then receives a text message confirmation of the delivery and points based on the prevalent market value of the waste delivered. Clients can then redeem these points for airtime, shopping vouchers or mobile money.

Agricultural waste is sourced from Keringet, Olenguruon, Ngata, Githima, Mwea, Kiambu and Naivasha. Examples include rice husks, wheat bran, sawdust, coffee husks.

With the total volume of waste generated globally expected to increase by nearly 50% over the next decade, the adoption of innovative technologies will result in more integrated waste management solutions that move beyond the traditional use of labor, diesel trucks and conventional landfills.