Many of you maybe wondering how the yo-waste mobile app is transforming the waste management industry and improving the efficiency of waste collection services in Kampala, all this while promoting environmental sustainability and trying to eliminate waste.
Waste Management can be defined as the collection, transportation, recovering, and disposal of waste along with the supervision of such operations and after-care of the disposal sites.
Waste collection is the premier phase of waste management involving the collection and transferring or transporting of waste from a collection site to a disposal facility.
Usually during waste collection, the waste is usually put in the allocated bag or bin on the collection day, the waste collectors move from house to house collecting the waste bins and emptying them into their waste collection truck.
Waste collection problems
The traditional waste collection system has been sufficient in the past, but with the continuous urbanization and many people needing the waste collection services, this method has lost its efficiency and become rather tedious to manage.
Some of the areas where problems have been encountered here in Uganda include billing issues, route scheduling, and uncollected waste (possibly because the waste was not ready at the collection time or probably because it was unpicked by the waste workers).
We know when it comes to waste collection and management, two things really matter to customers (homes in this case). Having a reliable and affordable waste collector who picks their trash in time and without delays or missed collections is very important and that’s what the yo-waste app exactly does.
We have a pool of over 20+ waste haulers/trucks from 7+ waste management companies in Uganda who are assigned to specific locations, such that wherever you’re they can service you and without fail/delay.
The idea is to pool tens & hundreds of homes who need waste collection services, organize them together, assign them all to a particular day, let’s say on Tuesday according to their location, such that when the truck comes it can effectively offload you the garbage burden but as well save the waste collectors on fuel expenses and time.
If we could do this for all the 400k + homes in Kampala in the next 3–5 years, we could address the biggest challenge involved in waste collection for our cities even across Africa.
Yo-Waste is partnering with a number of recyclers in Uganda to ensure waste pickers not only just pick and dump trash but rather add value to waste which is recyclable.
The idea is if we could have sufficient data on what waste is generated where and when can’t we have specific trucks deployed to collect specific types of waste which could be recycled by our partner recycling businesses.
Yo-Waste doesn’t own trucks, sorting facilities or any physical asset. We ride on partnerships with waste collection companies in our network, recycling businesses, municipal councils, researchers, development partners to do what we do.
During this period of COVID-19, sanitation workers especially waste collectors are at a great risk of being infected by COVID-19. The waste collection industry employees majority of informal workers especially those who move on trucks loading waste.
Yo-Waste measures to address some of the issues which could affect waste workers have been as follows
- Enforce cashless payments for customers paying waste pickers to avoid contact through money.
- Add Waste collection companies on mobile app to allow them operate digitally.
Waste Data as tool to transform waste management
Yo-Waste collects specific data on waste with an end goal of helping its customers divert waste, helping them understand their contribution to the environment in terms of carbon emissions generated and the percentage drop of this through waste diverting.
This data can also be helpful to urban planners & recycling firms to increase the recycling rate of the communities we operate.
We believe yo-waste is a collective effort of the waste management companies we work with and other partners, and together we can transform and improve waste management even across Africa.
Do you want to get involved with us, reach out to our head of sustainability & operations via [email protected]
This article has be compiled and written by Martin Tumusiime. He is the Team Lead at yo-waste and head of partnerships & fundraising, reach-out to him via [email protected]