Selection Uganda

Proteen

Proteen leverages its leadership and project management skills to facilitate a first-of-its-kind ‘mixed-waste recovery center’ to ‘animal feed and fertilizer’ value chain in Uganda. The unique composition of our consortium allows us along with our implementing partners (YoWaste, Enimiro and Marula) to focus on our core abilities and expand our business model while bringing an innovative and complete circular waste-to-value model to empower youth.

The Problem

In Uganda, 80% of the generated waste is organic and only 40% is collected with no added value. Organic waste separation and recycling produce a high cost of transportation as the organic waste contains 60% moisture. Ugandan farmers are also highly affected by low-quality agricultural inputs with the uncertainty in supply alongside fluctuating prices. These problems will only be exacerbated as waste production is estimated to increase threefold in developing countries by 2050.

Currently, 69% of organic waste in Sub-Saharan Africa is dumped in landfills or burned, accounting for nearly half of all carbon emissions (World Bank, 2019). In Kampala, only 40% of waste is collected and brought to the Kitezi landfill, representing a very linear waste management system. Uncollected waste remains in the cities, where it clogs sewages and releases toxic chemicals to local communities. 480t of organic waste is taken to the only registered landfill, Kiteezi, everyday. A circular solution will enable 1500t of waste per month (organic waste, plastic, paper, and e-waste) to be recycled in a sustainable way.

The Solution

Our project tackles this inefficiency through an integrated waste-to-value supply chain that focuses on the collection, sorting, and processing of organic and non-organic waste. Our solution primarily creates contract jobs for young people in the waste management sector and improves jobs in the agricultural sector. Our organic waste-to-value project will create the first of its kind Material Recovery Centre (MRC) in Kampala, which monetizes non-organic waste (in partnership with Yo-Waste) and processes organic waste into valuable agricultural products. These agricultural products are tested in our own Analysis Lab and then sold to our own Poultry Hub (in partnership with Uzima) or professionally tested on coffee-vanilla plots (in partnership with Enimiro). We will process over 2040t of mixed waste per month and process this into a high-quality animal feed concentrate for professional, medium-scale poultry, piggery and tilapia farmers as well as a fertilizer for UGACOF’s coffee farmers and Enimiro’s vanilla farmers.

Our project will:

  • Create hundreds of jobs (suitable for youth, women and men, of low- and high-skill).
  • Produce sustainable and profitable fertilizer and animal feed.
  • Avoid significant landfill emissions.

Our MRC in Kampala will create well-paid, accessible and safe jobs in an industry that is notorious for its unhealthy working environments. The MRC collects mixed waste from households and restaurants but also offers 90 informal waste pickers the opportunity to deliver plastics as each kilogram of plastic is bought between 200-350ugx. We will also offer training to ensure that these youth (60 females, 30 males) can identify the best quality plastic. Regarding our contract jobs, our drivers, loaders and sorters in the MRC department will all receive contracts after undergoing a two-month internship period. The conveyor sorters (35 of whom will be female) will be paid a baseline salary and a commission per kilogram/tonne of sorted waste.

Additionality

With CFYE support, the project will be better designed, proceed more quickly, and reach more young people than it otherwise would have. CFYE support will allow Proteen and Yo-Waste to set up an innovative Material Recovery Center which, to date, has not yet been achieved in the country. There are few initiatives that look at plastic recycling, however, none combine the organic component in their business model. This competitive advantage will allow us to scale up our current initiatives and de-risk our business model by ensuring that our main input, organic waste, can be more easily secured.

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