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Garbage disposal innovation wins Kenyan firm Sh4.2 million award

A man clears garbage at Pumwani Road in Gikomba market, Nairobi. A local garbage disposal concept has won the Dell Social Innovation Award for 2011, the latest conquest by a Kenyan firm in the world of innovations with high social impact. File
A man clears garbage at Pumwani Road in Gikomba market, Nairobi. A local garbage disposal concept has won the Dell Social Innovation Award for 2011, the latest conquest by a Kenyan firm in the world of innovations with high social impact. File 

A local garbage disposal concept has won the Dell Social Innovation Award for 2011, the latest conquest by a Kenyan firm in the world of innovations with high social impact.

TakaTaka Solutions, a social enterprise that collects and recycles waste in Nairobi, won the Sh4.2 million top prize in the global competition for its waste management solution, and will use the money to bankroll its recycling programme.

“The team exemplifies ingenuity, passion and entrepreneurial spirit. The competition gives students an opportunity to put their ideas into action and address some of the world’s most serious social issues,” said Karen Quintos, senior vice president and Chief Marketing Officer at Dell.

TakaTaka’s concept hopes to create additional income from waste by providing recycling opportunities to neighbouring communities who will collect and recycle waste.

The company aims to deliver affordable waste collection services to all income areas, recycling and composting of up to 85 per cent of collected waste and create jobs in the process.

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In high income areas, TakaTaka Solutions will collect waste from clients. It will compost the organic waste and recover recyclable waste at its recyclable waste separation facility.

In low income areas, TakaTaka Solutions will partner with youth groups who will collect and sell the organic and recyclable waste to firm.

TakaTaka Solutions beat other 1,400 entries from 85 countries who participated in a competitive business venture planning process and who had to travel to the US to present their unique business idea before a panel of expert judges.TakaTaka’s win follows that of Athman Mohamed in a World Bank sponsored competition earlier this year and that of John Waibochi, who won Sh80 million from Nokia to fund his business last year.

The Social Innovation Awards is a five-year old competition sponsored by Dell, a US computer manufacturer, which honours university students who come up with unique approaches to the world’s social problems through entrepreneurial projects.

A team from the London School of Economics came up with the TakaTaka concept, which will now be implemented on a larger scale in Nairobi, in a bid to resolve the city’s waste problems. Nairobi produces around 1,900 tonnes of waste a day, but only 33 per cent of the waste is collected for disposal Dandora dumpsite in the city.

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