Introducing ‘Waste to Use’ challenge finalists in The Gambia


Author: Rose Bradbury

Published: 27 September 2022

On 8th September 2022 members of the Circular Economy Network in The Gambia were brought together and introduced to the three finalists for the Waste to Use challenge. An initiative that is part of the circular economy project known locally as Dennakuwo, and funded by the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM).



Plastics Recycling Gambia Ltd

Plastics Recycling Gambia Ltd buys plastic waste from informal waste collectors, established companies, dump sites and individuals. Currently, they have set-up over 21 buying/collection points across the greater Banjul area and Barra. An allocated person is positioned at each collection point to buy plastics from local residents. After collection, the plastic is sorted by colour, type and quality and then stripped of any residual waste. The clean and sorted plastic is ground and packaged into 25 kg bags. The re-grind is used to manufacture local dust bins, tiles, agricultural tools etc., or alternatively sold on the local and regional markets to plastic manufacturing companies (Gambia and Senegal) with demand from Europe as well.


African Swag collection

African Swag collection is a sole proprietary tailoring and design business, owned and managed by a young Gambian woman. The brand offers ready-to-wear and contemporary apparels for men, women and children, and also recycles plastic waste focusing on bubble wrap that’s mostly thrown away, and turns fabric waste into related fashion accessories.

Through 3R methodology (Reuse, Reduce and Recycle), the bubble wrap is turned into sellable products like, shower caps, school bags, safety bags, safety purses, jackets, rain coats, windbreakers, painting mats, servicing aprons for make-up artists, caterers, gardeners, painters and vendors. They also have a production centre where young girls are trained on how to make each of these products and are presented in a showroom for display.


Green Waste Initiative

Green Waste Initiative is a social enterprise that specialises in the production and sale of briquettes. The enterprise produces quality, clean and safe fuel as an alternative to other domestic fuel products such as charcoal and firewood. They also promote educational awareness about the dangers of air pollution from charcoal and firewood, and the contribution of deforestation to global warming. They are currently producing a charcoal briquette called “Rinkoo”, which is a smokeless charcoal briquette that is healthy, safe and durable. The ash produced from the fuel can be utilised as an organic fertiliser for flowers and plants. This product is made purposely to discourage the cutting down of trees for charcoal and firewood production.


Ceris Turner-Bailes, CEO of WasteAid, says:

“We’re thrilled to welcome these three innovative finalists to the next stage of the Waste to Use competition, it’s fantastic to work with businesses that are reducing waste and expanding their reach by dealing with different waste streams. Our partnership with CIWM has made this project possible in The Gambia through our Circular Economy Network.”


The finalists will now undergo business mentoring and prepare for their final pitch in December 2022, where the top solution will receive an investment of D350,000. This challenge is an opportunity for businesses already pioneering ways to recover, reuse and divert as much waste as possible from landfill in the Greater Banjul Area to develop their businesses, as well as creating much needed livelihoods for people in poverty.


CIWM’s Technical Manager, Richard Hudson says:

“These three finalists prove that even in a challenging environment, it is possible to have a genuinely circular project that reuses and recycles, moving to a world beyond waste. CIWM is delighted to be involved in the Waste to Use challenge, which will make a genuine difference to the lives of people in the Gambia. We would like to offer our congratulations to the finalists ahead of their pitch, and we look forward to supporting them further through engagement with the CIWM membership base.”


Congratulations to all finalists, and our thanks to all members of the Circular Economy Network for their engagement and contributions to this project.

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