Dean Willett, the Business Director of UK-based integrated waste management business Biffa, is heading out to Lake Naivasha in Kenya this month to offer advice on how the company can help support on waste challenges.
His visit follows yesterday’s announcement of a three-year partnership with WasteAid, which will see the business support the UK-based charity financially and offer its expertise to help communities in developing countries improve the management of waste.
Many of the local community in Lake Naivasha grow flowers for the European market and have an average income of $2 per day. There is currently no system in place to collect or process solid waste, therefore the objective of this project is to collect, manage and recycle waste to provide a cleaner environment for people to work in.
In the UK and developed countries, the collection and management of waste is taken for granted. However, in many developing countries a waste management service simply does not exist, with one in three people having no access to any such facilities. This means that 40% of the world’s waste – from homes, businesses, agriculture, hospitals and industry – is not collected or treated and as a result, it is often dumped. Much of it makes its way to the world’s oceans, with 70% of plastic marine litter coming from places without waste management facilities.
WasteAid works with communities in developing countries to share practical and low-cost approaches to waste management and recycling. Its innovative projects include teaching communities how to turn water bottles into eco bricks to build homes and schools, as well converting plastic bags into paving slabs which can be sold to local businesses.
By partnering with WasteAid, Biffa will be able to bring financial support and its extensive experience in addressing complex waste issues in the UK to areas with no previous access to waste management. As a leading waste management business that collects 4.1m tonnes of waste from UK homes and businesses a year and processes and treats over 3.7m tonnes of waste and recycling, Biffa is well placed to put its knowledge and operational expertise to good use. The work with WasteAid will not only benefit the environment on a global scale, it will also help to bring a better quality of life to people in these areas as well as create jobs and opportunities.
Michael Topham, Chief Executive at Biffa, commented: “Waste management and plastic pollution is a huge global issue and threat to the environment. We are proud to support WasteAid and bring our expertise in waste management to places in the world that urgently need our help to tackle this complex issue. Our financial support will help WasteAid to expand its operations, ensuring that more projects can be supported and ultimately help to alleviate global waste issues.”
Zoë Lenkiewicz, Head of Programmes and Engagement at WasteAid, added: “One in three people globally do not have a waste management service and have to burn or dump their waste, much of it ending up in the oceans. This transformational partnership with Biffa will mean that together we can help tackle the issues at the source of global waste pollution.”
Biffa has already supplied vital Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) including Safety boots, High visibility clothing, Face Masks and Litter Pickers to an existing WasteAid project in Gunjur, The Gambia, West Africa. Future projects include working with the local community on the shores of Lake Naivasha in Kenya, East Africa, to collect, manage and recycle waste from where they work growing flowers for the European cut flower market to provide a cleaner environment and green jobs.
Biffa employees, customers and suppliers will have the opportunity to get involved in fundraising for the company wide partnership of supporting the work of WasteAid – both in the UK and overseas.