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Affordable building materials from waste

Creating jobs for young people in the waste value chain as well as in the construction industry using waste based building materials

Photo of Kevin Mureithi

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EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA

Our mission is to solve the looming waste management problem in Kenya as well as the burgeoning costs of building materials. Annually, less than 8% of the 3 million tons of waste generated in the country is recycled. Dumpsites are overflowing and the situation is worsened by rapid accumulation of non-biodegradable fractions of waste such as plastics and glass that do not rot. Burning in open spaces is the most common management option but this results to production of toxic fumes into the environment especially plastics and indeed not all waste can be burnt e.g glass. On the other hand, the real estate industry which is estimated to be worth over a billion dollars growing at 20% for the next 5 years, has increased demand and prices for construction materials forcing key industry players to import products such as roofing tiles so as to meet local market demand.

Our company is offering local housing consumers the option of building their houses using building blocks and roofing tiles made out of discarded waste. The tiles are made from recycled plastics which when mixed with sand and heated using an extruder, produce a resultant polymer that is then pressed into a hard to break roofing tile. For the blocks, glass waste is crushed in to glass sand using a specialized pulverizing machine. This is then mixed with gravel and cement at proprietary ratios to produce a concrete mix, which is pressed by a block machine into hollow blocks ready for building after curing for 4-5 days

WHO BENEFITS?

The main direct beneficiaries include young people who will work in our production facility. Other beneficiaries include marginalized informal waste pickers and garbage collection youth and women groups who will get opportunities to sell raw waste materials to our company.

TELL US MORE ABOUT YOU

Trace is a social enterprise based in Nakuru County in Kenya, led by two young environmental experts; Kevin Mureithi and Hope Mwanake. They are both Mandela Fellows with extensive organizational experience in waste management at the community level and dedicated in running a mission driven venture.

WHERE WILL YOUR IDEA BE IMPLEMENTED?

  • Kenya

EXPERIENCE IN IMPLEMENTATION COUNTRY(IES)

  • Yes, for more than one year.

EXPERTISE IN SECTOR

  • I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for over a year

In a years time, we hope to be fully functional and recycling about 30 tonnes of waste monthly in our production facility.

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