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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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21 comments

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Photo of Katherine Haugle
Team

hm

Photo of Deborah Nyambu
Team

Great project Kevin...a very good solution to the looming waste management problem!

Photo of Kevin Mureithi
Team

Thank you Deborah so much!

Photo of Deborah Nyambu
Team

Hello Kevin, I trust you are keeping well.  If we were to bring in a small team of youth to visit and learn from the work you are doing, what would it entail?

Photo of Christophe Parot
Team

Hello, you can also recycle aluminium folder into solar cooker.
There are many opensource solar cooker design on internet.
https://www.mindmeister.com/683732679 you can pitch your idea on Steemit https://steemit.com/business/@steemsharks/entrepreneurs-wanted-on-steem-sharks

Photo of Kevin Mureithi
Team

Hi Chris, thanks for reaching out and for the heads up! 

Best, Kevin

Photo of Wesley Okoth
Team

30 tonnes of waste monthly will do the environment great help. The level of polution today is wanting. 

Photo of Kevin Mureithi
Team

Thanks Wes! Urban pollution caused by waste is a critical issue that needs urgent solutions. How about we build the Cherahani Headquarters in Siaya with our waste based materials? Lol!

Photo of Joseph Joram
Team

How do your products translate to affordable housing to discourage cheaply available imports from other countries?

Photo of Kevin Mureithi
Team

Hi Joseph, we basically make alternative building products such as roofing tiles that are durable and aesthetic using locally sourced waste materials. Our products are cheaper than imports and locally create jobs for youths. You can learn more from us here: http://ecoblocksandtiles.co.ke/.

Kind regards,
Kevin

Photo of Ilana Milkes
Team

This is a good idea, how does your technology work?

Photo of Kevin Mureithi
Team

Hi Ilana, we use extrusion process to make the roofing tiles from plastic waste and sand. For the building blocks we make easy to build hollow blocks while using crushed glass waste as part of the ingredients in the production. Thanks for the question

Photo of Dysmus Kisilu
Team

This is an amazing idea. It will greatly reduce environmental degradation and definitely create more jobs in Kenya. 

Photo of Kevin Mureithi
Team

Thank you very much Dysmus, I really appreciate your comments.

Photo of DAVE Okech
Team

Kevin, the project is very innovative, my county Kisumu has serious waste management issues, try and help us out. good job!

Photo of Kevin Mureithi
Team

Thanks Dave for the feedback. We are seriously considering how we can expand to more urban cities in Kenya and Kisumu is in our plans.

Best,
Kevin

Photo of Lorna Abwonji
Team

Kevin this is a great project I am really impressed and I for me this is a new concept of reusing trash.
One suggestion for beneficiaries would be the construction industry 
Also you have not mentioned how people can access your blocks and tiles and success stories of those who have used them

Photo of Kevin Mureithi
Team

Hi Lorna,

Thank you for taking your time to go through our proposition.

Indeed end users in the construction industry are part of the beneficiaries of our work. Currently we are selling our blocks directly to clients and also through our online platforms: ecoblocksandtiles.co.ke, Facebook; Eco Blocks and Tiles and Twitter; @ecoblocksandtiles. We will also write a narrative of some of our early clients and what they think about our products.

Many thanks,
Kevin

Photo of Lorna Abwonji
Team

Hi Kevin 
thank you for that clarification. i have taken time to go through your website and for me the information that make the tiles and blocks from waste is clear but the information that you sell the tiles and blocks is not very clear on Facebook and Twitter. They also need links to your website.
Also having a place in your site that indicates how cost effective it is would be great. Like giving an example of how much someone saved by using your products. 
Otherwise I do think this is a great idea and would be a customer for sure

Photo of Kevin Mureithi
Team

Yes you are right Lorna. We need to sharpen our social media activity and make it easier to make sales. Thanks for this invaluable advice. Highly appreciate it.

Photo of Kevin Mureithi
Team

Team We just submitted our idea on openideo. Please send us any feedback to our idea.