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Microenterprises in Waste Management

Microenterprises in Waste Management

Organized at 3 PM GMT on 18th November, 2015


Lucien Yoppa FCTV


Project Officer, Fondation Camerounaise de la Terre Vivante

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Co-founder, be Waste Wise

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Ranjith Annepu is the interviewer and also conducted the global waste survey to choose topics for the 2015 Global Dialogue on Waste

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Research Analyst, be Waste Wise

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Madhumitha Rajendran performed background research for the interview

Swetha Dandapani summarized the panel discussion and put together a set of interesting quotes.


MIKE WEBSTER, Chair, WasteAid UK

  • Started on a new project called waste innovation centre, a site where micro-entrepreneurs can try out new approaches to managing and reprocessing waste.
  • Key areas of opportunities:
    1. E-waste is a big growth sector and in West Africa there is a large economy for reuse and repair.
    2. Entrepreneurs are stepping into the alternative fuels & energy market.

Once waste is collected and people start thinking about making it useful, it stops being a waste and becomes a resource.

  • You have to see where demand is for X. There is a growing demand for cooking fuels around the world; alternate energy, clean and cheap energy from local resources.
  • There is also opportunity to look at innovative approaches to materials that were considered waste.
  • The fundamental problem is that waste collection is not properly being implemented by local authorities, either due to lack of political will, or to the sheer magnitude of services required. That’s where micro entrepreneurs can help in filling the gap.
  • The problem is how to incentivize the waste handling process so that people are encouraged to collect and segregate waste.

Waste is the effluence of affluence. 

  • Cities might be growing or developing but there are marginalized communities that are left behind and are suffering the negative impact of expansion.
  • For example, in many cities because of the socio-economic reasons there are many pockets in major cities where waste management is implemented in entirety.
  • Hands off approach from municipal organization will definitely help the microenterprises in increasing the reach of collection and managing household waste.
  • There is no quick fix to the waste management problem, it always depends on the nature of demand, local waste management set up, cultural issues dealing with waste and socio-economic aspects.

LUCIEN YOPPAFoundation Camerounaise de la Terre Vivante (FCTV)

  • Based out of Cameroon with an engineering background and 2 years of experience in renewable energy.
  • Focusing on waste management with technology and community well-being.

The fundamental objective is to improve the Improve the living standards of community on a grassroots level.

  • In Cameroon most of the microenterprises are involved with dealing with household waste, some microenterprises are dealing with plastics and converting into building blocks.
  • Converting household waste into alternative fuel, brickets.
  • Africa has a high demand for clean and cheaper fuel, especially for cooking fuels.
  • The key aspects are:
    • to educate people on waste management
    • help identify opportunities on what kind of income can be generated by turning waste to recycling
    • creating something profitable that can improve living conditions.
    • identify gaps in the waste management process and then help in the process. For example, waste collection is now done by private companies whose reach does not extend to slum areas. Micro enterprises work to mobilize the waste in these areas and transport it to the nearest collection point, so that local authorities can then move the waste to landfills or recycling plants.
  • The main issue is dealing with waste collection and segregation. Financing as a way of incentivizing might not work here because it is not sustainable in the long run. The key is to educate on waste management.

Key is to identify gaps in the waste management process and then help in the process.

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