Waste management: An entrepreneur’s perspective

ONE of the enterprising individuals at Ngozi mine after filling up his bale at Ngozi Mine

ONE of the enterprising individuals at Ngozi mine after filling up his bale at Ngozi Mine

Pictures by Obey Sibanda

ACCUMULATION of wastes due to its improper disposal is a major problem in Zimbabwe. There is an increase in population which has resulted in the increase of the amount of waste being produced especially in the cities.

While it may not be one of the most popular business ideas out there, a few smart Zimbabweans are already amassing wealth from waste and creating jobs for fellow countrymen. The success of these inspiring entrepreneurs proves that there can be profitable business ideas in very unlikely and niche parts of Zimbabwean society.

A truck offloading waste at the dumpsite. After offloading the scavengers then grade the waste, taking mainly plastic bottles which they will then sell to recycling firms

A truck offloading waste at the dumpsite. After offloading the scavengers then grade the waste, taking mainly plastic bottles which they will then sell to recycling firms

A few smart entrepreneurs, especially women, are turning the huge waste we produce every day into money-making products. It is such a brilliant idea that profits their pockets and the environment at the same time.

What they salvaged they would sell it to companies in Harare who turn the garbage into products such as plastic mats and handbags, for sale. They sort it out, separating materials such as plastic bags, glass, paper, then pour the unwanted items in a pit. The returns are not as high because they sell their products to middlemen.

Women sifting through the garbage

Women sifting through the garbage

They will grade the plastic according to the value of the material. For example the empty container of tomato source and the empty plastic container of cooking oil have different market value.

After grading the garbage they then wash them using contaminated water they collect from water source nearby and load them into bales. They claim it takes two weeks to fill up a single bale.

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