Generating more than 80% of the world’s GDP, cities are major drivers of economic growth. However, as urbanization and waste production increase, they are faced with the challenge of how to manage their waste effectively.
Most of the solid waste generated is disposed of in landfills and open-air sites causing serious risks to public health and the environment, and worsening climatic conditions as seen during drought and floods, which threaten the lives and livelihoods of many people. The need for sustainable solutions is urgent now more than ever.
On World Environment Day (June 5th), two East African innovators, Sanergy and Amitruck, the Kenyan logistics marketplace, are combining forces to tackle this challenge and have built together with an end-to-end value chain network of operations and efficient logistics that collect, treat, and convert two streams of waste: sanitation waste generated in low-income informal settlements with inadequate sanitation services as well as kitchen and agricultural waste from restaurants, market places, and agricultural pack houses; building a new model for city’s resilience through circular organic waste management.
Partnering with Amitruck, Sanergy removes more than 12,000 tons of waste every year and upcycles it into end-products such as organic fertilizer, insect-based protein for animal feed, and biomass briquettes used as a clean fuel.
This circular economy solution addresses multiple challenges: environmental pollution by sanitation waste that is improperly disposed of, low agricultural yields due to declining soil fertility and increasing GHG emissions from open dumping of waste.
In addition, innovative logistics solutions for waste collection, using Amitruck’s digital marketplace of vehicles and drivers, more effectively managing fleets and the transport of goods, are accelerating the transition to more sustainable cities.
The two partners are noticeably impacting the economy and the society, with Sanergy having created more than 2,000 direct and indirect jobs, whilst Amitruck hired more than 5,000 drivers over two years thanks to innovative digital models.
Sanergy declares: “We are excited to be pioneering a sustainable waste management solution that benefits the people and economy, and restores our ecosystem. Our next big goal is to expand here in Nairobi, and then replicate our model across Kenya and Africa,” Michael Lwoyelo, Sanergy Managing Director.
Mark Mwangi, Amitruck CEO declares “With more than 5,000 drivers, we are proud to be partnering with Sanergy and its community to enable a circular economy benefiting the Environment, Health, People and Greener cities. Thanks to its innovative digital marketplace, Amitruck accelerates the transition to more sustainable logistics, allowing existing fleets of vehicles to be used a lot more efficiently for Positive Impact”.
While there are impeccable successes in Nairobi, Kenya, Sanergy and Amitruck believe that scaling and replicating the closed-loop circular economy approach in other cities in Kenya and beyond is key to strengthen fragile systems such as waste management, production of agriculture inputs and building resilient cities where residents are healthy and prosperous.
Therefore, it is imperative to forge partnerships with government stakeholders and other sector players to scale and serve more citizens and businesses with professional services. In particular, the government plays a critical role in creating and improving the regulatory framework that sees these novel models thrive.