What are the problems?
Around the world, waste generation rates are rising. This includes organic, non-organic (such as plastic) and human waste. With rapid population growth and urbanisation, annual waste generation is expected to increase by 70% from 2016 levels to 3.40 billion tonnes in 2050.
Compared to developed nations, residents in developing countries, especially the urban poor, are more harshly impacted by unsustainable waste management. In low-income countries, over 90% of solid waste is disposed in unregulated dumps or openly burned. Lack of safe toilets, collection, treatment and reuse of faecal sludge often results in private faecal sludge collectors disposing faecal sludge into the open environment. All at an extraordinary cost to public and environmental health.
How does WASTE help solve these problems?
We believe that a “bottom-up” approach is a key strategy for sustainability in waste management. It all starts from the ground. With our Diamond model we focus on building local waste management systems that can reach scale. We do this by connecting the four key elements and actors in local waste management system that are essential to reach scale.
We want to enable stakeholders in waste management in low and middle-income countries to improve their own livelihood and quality of life by transitioning towards an integrated sustainable waste management. At WASTE, we are only satisfied when a local waste management is sustainable and can scale up on its own.
• We believe in a market-based approach. Markets for sanitation and solid waste management services and products first need to be developed to ensure sustainability of waste management system. Through marketing, we focus on creating and establishing demand by customers for improved services and products in waste management.
• We believe in entrepreneurship development and inclusive finance. Entrepreneurs in sanitation and solid waste management sectors are the source of innovation. We focus on supporting entrepreneurs to identify their product-market fit with their customers. We also believe every individual and business should have access to affordable financial products that meets their needs in sanitation and solid waste management. We work with financiers to develop financing instruments such as credits, guarantee funds to ensure access to finance for customers and businesses and scalability of products and services.
• We are holistic. We address the entire chain in waste management, from containment, collection, transportation, processing/treatment and reuse and sales. Furthermore, we use the multi-stakeholder approach of the Diamond model by engaging the four key actors (customers, businesses, financiers, government) in waste management to reach scaling of results.
A sustainable sanitation system consisting of safe containment, collection, treatment and reuse of faecal sludge is critical to advance an overall urban system resilience and its transition towards green growth. We address the issues of open defecation and lack of faecal sludge management services. We see business opportunities for value creation from faecal sludge that would otherwise be lost. Instead it allows cost savings and cost recover in the sanitation sector. We continuously explore scalable options for resource recovery from sanitation as a value proposition to stimulate business thinking in the interface of sanitation, solid waste, agriculture and energy.
With rapid population expansion and economic development, solid waste generation continues to grow rapidly. This puts pressure on resource availability and society’s ability to process and safely dispose of this material. We address the problems of resources scarcity, uncontrolled landfills, illegal garbage dumping and ‘plastic soup’. We work towards a solid waste management system for efficient waste collection, transportation and systematic waste disposal. We identify business opportunities in solid waste management to create green jobs. We continuously explore innovative recycling options and financing mechanisms to build sustainable solid waste systems.
million toilets are constructed
one toilet every 4 minutes
million workdays created
in toilet construction alone
million € generated locally in 5 years
by households investing in sanitation improvements
tonnes of human waste
converted to compost
kilograms plastic waste
saved from the ocean and environment
"I thank WASTE for their great training, we have learnt a lot about plastic recycling and new business opportunities. WASTE brings the right public to the table to really have an impact.”
Modou Fall, director Expertises et Solutions International
"WASTE with its Financial Inclusion For Improved Sanitation and Health (FINISH) approach inspires us with an innovative holistic approach, which reaches results at scale. [...] WASTE makes a difference in people’s lives in all the countries it works in. WASTE punches well above its weight!’
Pim van der Male, Thematic Expert Water at Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
"WASTE is really WEALTH and indeed RDO Trust is proud and privileged to have such a partner to look at sanitation in a holistic way. WASTE has provided a wealth of technical and financial support to reach the poor in India. WASTE's contribution is not only in formulating, but also in technically guiding RDO Trust"
RDO Trust (our Indian partner under FINISH and SWFF)
Securing Water for Food
Circular economy with blackwater and greywater recycling for cultivation of vegetables in India