Team #6 // What a waste ?

Executive Summery

Kisumu, Kenya’s third largest city with more than half of the population living in informal settlements deals with unemployment, high poverty rate and unsafe waste management. A prolonged and self sustainable proposal is need of the hour.From our extensive research on Kisumu’s informal settlement, it is gathered that ‘$hilling’ is highly valued and in our business model, we create and circulate the money by the use of the most physically insignificant actors of the society -children!

The 75% of uncollected waste is sorted at the most elementary level(eg. households) and collected by school children to “value center” located nearby the schools. The value center is community owned and works on the basis of a reward system, hence creating a self reliant structure.


Kisumu county spends a whooping KES 740 million annually in terms of healthcare costs, productivity loss and premature deaths due to lack of proper waste management and sanitation system. The deficit of proper funding, motivation and short term vision are some of the leading causes to a failed waste management system.

Therefore, the primary challenge that we are trying to address, which is also the root cause of all waste management system- is sorting. Creating a structure that deals with not only circular economy but also awareness and community building.

Target user / Customer

Our primary target users are households (not strictly) in the informal settlement of Kisumu.

Your solution and how the concept is feasible

According to the current system, the households pay to get their waste collected,as a result,most of the waste is thrown on the road. By facilitating the whole process with the help of school children and rewarding the households in terms of ‘mpesa’ is a sure motivation for waste sorting.

Taking advantage of the fact that Kisumu’s city has an average of 93% of attendance to the school by people between 5-17 years old,our proposal for the pilot project is to create 3-5 ‘value centers’ nearby the schools in the region of Manyatta, Kisumu, keeping in mind the conveniency for the school children to dump the trash. The value centers are locally run hence,creating employment for the community. The trash manager at the value center, thereafter returns the value of the trash through ‘mpesa’ linked to the parents account. Once the waste is collected, registered and stored, it is available for being sold and picked up by local entrepreneurs and recycling plants. This process is eased with use of mobile apps which are already available in google store that shares real time prices and quantity of the trash generated and stored.

The most credible aspect about our idea is that it is extremely feasible and low risk. The value centers are basically shacks made from extremely inexpensive materials which are easily available in an informal settlement. Moreover, with the addition of children in waste collecting, leads to money creation for the household ,which otherwise would have been used to pay the waste pickers.

Four unique value propositions

What maeks your solution/concept unique?

  1. To create value for the current untreated household waste
  2. To encourage behaviour changes through children’s education and the next generations with the help of awareness programme
  3. To promote community engagement around the existing problematic context
  4. To create a strong base for scalable high tech solution through a inexpensive low risk project


per tonne selling price for scrap metals is=20,000-30,000 KSH

per tonne selling price of organic = 5000 KSH

per tonne selling price of plastics=10,000 KSH (approx)

Household waste generated in Kisumu:

organic=201.5 [t]/day Recyclables=83.7[t]/day

number of school going children under 15 years old= 243,000

approximate waste carried by the children per day= 1kg (including organics and recyclables)1 month(school days) income created due to the waste/household=22kg * 12 KSH =264 KSH(3 litres of milk)


The major impacts lie in the elimination of the waste that is soiling the public spaces and the promotion of responsible consumption by changing the citizen’s behaviour. Awareness and instilling a sense of responsibility amongst the youth is also one of the major impression.

By implementing this, the city will be approaching directly 4 of the Sustainable Development Goals:

SDG 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

SDG 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

SDG 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

In addition, taking into account the long lasting effects, there is a collateral impact in five more goals which, even though is in a lower degree is still a meaningful change.

Link for more information

From the left side: Matias Diaz / Pratiksha Prusty / Kitti Szabó / Ruben Schiller.
Our team process was based on a strong sense of friendship and trust that we are going to cherish for life long.

Group Members

Matias Eduardo Diaz Nuñ
Kitti Szabó