Expanding collection and separation of plastics for recycling in Uganda
Uganda's urban growth rate is amongst the highest in the world with the country's population expected to reach 100 million by 2050. As the population grows, so does the country's continual stream of waste, with municipalities struggling to keep up with collection and disposal of litter. Mixed plastic waste poses a specific challenge for the country, due to additional costs of separating materials. Communities often end up burning plastics, emitting toxic fumes that pose a danger both to human health and the environment.
This project improves the collection and separation of plastic waste for recycling through teaming up with a local research institute and establishing community-based plastic waste-sorting centres. Once the plastic is separated, the waste is baled by local employees onsite and transported to the capital of Uganda, Kampala, where it can be recycled. The project implements employee training workshops for plastic separation and sorting based on labels and colours of materials, continuing to improve waste management practices.
As a community-based initiative the project empowers locals through creating employment opportunities that directly benefit the region. Ensuring that waste is correctly managed protects the environment from plastic pollution and ensures that recyclable materials make their way to the appropriate destination, where they can be made into new usable products.