Recycle: Turning Waste Into Cash
Over the last few decades, the transformation of waste back into usable consumer goods has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry, but mostly in developed countries.
New consumerism heaped atop rapid urbanisation and population growth has left municipalities with overarching concerns regarding waste management…and will only worsen as our consumer culture continues to accelerate, – Sustainable Business
Tanzanian government officials say Metropolitan areas like the commercial city of Dar es Salaam make up to 4500 tonnes of waste every single day. However, the disposal capacity of the city is just too low to keep up.
Tanzania is no exception and as is the case for the rest of the world, city areas in the country are the most affected with hardly half of the waste ever making it to designated areas.
So where does the rest of the indisposed garbage go to? “…60 per cent of solid waste is casually dumped by the roadside, in storm drains, river beds, unauthorized dumps and anywhere else,” this according to Dr Fedust Makota, Deputy Director National Environment Management Council (NEMC).
Dr. Makota highlighted the health dangers that are posed by this reckless dumping but also cited the business and investment opportunities therein.
He said the recycling industry is lucrative and Dar es Salaam, as other major cities in the country has a shortage of garbage collection systems and recycle facilities.
A Lesson From The Slums Of India
Dharavi is one of the world’s largest slums and is located at the heart of India’s financial capital, Mumbai.
According to the Sustainable Business Tool Kit, though it is a slum, through recycling of waste, Dharavi enjoys a turnover in excess of $ 1 billion each year!
Instead of waiting for government built or corporate sector funded factories, this slum houses an estimated 15,000 single room factories, employing around a quarter of a million people all working different stages of a long recycle chain.
It may be a slum but the UK’s Observer describes Dharavi as “one of the most inspiring economic models in Asia.”
Mumbai generates almost 7,025 tonnes of waste on a daily basis feeding Dharavi with recycling material that employs thousands.
Compare that with Dar es Salaam’s 4600 tonnes of waste and you see the recycle opportunity that the city has not to mention the immediate solution to youth unemployment.
The recycle process is a chain, you have those who rummage through the garbage collecting the recyclables. Then these deliver to small processors who in turn sell to larger recycle plants.
Through this process, the slum of Dharavi recycles up to 85% of all waste material produced by the city.