Introducing Takataka Solutions: Changing Nairobi’s waste story
2,400 tonnes of waste are produced every day in Nairobi. Only 33% of this is collected by the Nairobi City County and private sector companies according to a 2010 study by the Japanese Development Agency (JICA). The rest of the waste is dumped in rivers, open areas or burned. The collected waste goes to Dandora dumpsite, where it is disposed in the open. Open dumping of waste not only poses health and climate change risks, this approach also represents an emerging environmental justice issue. Half of the children living around Dandora, a low income area of Nairobi, have lead blood poisoning according to a 2007 UN report.
A woman picks through the waste at Dandora dumpsite in search of re-sellable items. Photo, Simon Maina/AFP/Getty Images
Takataka Solutions is a Nairobi-based social enterprise created in 2011 aiming to change this reality.
How? By turning waste into a social, environmental and economic good.
The Takataka Solutions model comprises 3 steps: waste collection, recycling and processing and output and sales. We collect waste from residential clients and from business clients regularly. The waste is taken to our recycling centres where it is sorted into over 40 fractions, the main ones being paper, plastic, metal, glass, textiles, e-waste and organics. Sorted recyclables are taken to recycling companies to turn into valuable products.
All organic material is sent to our composting facility in Banana. We sell this compost to farmers as an organic fertiliser option. We also have an artisan workshop at Banana where we make drinking glasses and other glass products from the glass collected.
We divert more than 90% of waste we collect from ending up in a dumpsite. Besides, the economic and environmental benefits of this, we also provide formal employment to unemployed men and women from under-resourced communities.
You’ll know us by our bright orange uniforms and lorries
We currently collect about 18 tonnes of waste every day from about 12,000 households; but that is barely 1% of Nairobi’s waste. We’re always looking to provide our services to more people and businesses looking for professional, efficient, affordable and clean waste collection. Get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 0708 276 201 to do your part in keeping Nairobi clean.
In upcoming weeks we’ll be giving you greater insight into the work we do, the products and services we offer, and the people who make all of this possible. Bookmark our site, and remember to #KeepItSAFI