Ceris joined award-winning charity WasteAid as Chief Executive in 2020.
Throughout her career, Ceris has worked internationally leading programmes, research, and advocacy initiatives for governments, NGOs and the private sector. She has worked extensively in community-based programming, as well as in the policy environment, and her work has always had a strong focus on partnership, quality and impact.
Ceris has worked across a number of development sectors including poverty alleviation, health and water and sanitation. She has delivered complex programmes on the ground in challenging contexts as well as strategically developing global programmes and international organisations.
Ceris was drawn to WasteAid for its potential to positively impact the lives of so many. Tackling the complex issue of waste management can help deliver many development goals – human and environmental. WasteAid’s work with vulnerable communities developing income generating activities from recycling is both innovative and necessary. WasteAid is a charity that has the potential to do so much and Ceris is committed to further developing its work in terms of depth, scale and reach.
Before embarking upon her career in the international development sector, Ceris served as a Royal Air Force Officer and briefly as a member of HM Diplomatic Service in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Her overseas experience includes extensive work across Sub Saharan Africa, MENA region, Central Asia, the Americas and Caribbean, as well as Eastern Europe and The Balkans. Ceris holds two Bachelors degrees, including a BA (Hons) in History from King’s College, London and a postgraduate qualification in International Development.
Head of Programmes and Engagement
Growing WasteAid from the ground up, Zoë combines technical and creative skills with strategic waste management expertise.
A professional waste manager since 2002, Zoë has led municipal waste and recycling programmes, research studies, campaigns and consultations, workshops and training courses for government, practitioners, and community groups in the UK and in lower-income countries.
Zoë was the chief author of the award-winning WasteAid toolkit Making Waste Work, and works with communities worldwide to deliver genuinely sustainable waste management.
Zoë is project manager of WasteAid’s programmes in The Gambia and Indonesia, generating employment opportunities and preventing the open dumping and burning of plastic waste. Zoë is also responsible for leading WasteAid’s fundraising appeals, including the UK Aid Match campaign in 2019 that raised £168,000 to build a plastics recycling training centre in Cameroon.
At WasteAid, Zoë is a driving force in the movement to attract international attention to the power of waste management for global development. Her cross-sector experience enables diverse stakeholders to make progress towards common goals.
Prior to her work developing WasteAid, Zoë was a successful independent consultant, supporting smart-material start-ups, government agencies and major waste management companies.
Zoë has a BSc in Environmental Biology and an MSc in Environment and Development, is a CSC Commonwealth Leader (2019), and has been recognised as a Woman of Influence by the Planner (2019) and among the 100 Women Creating a Better Africa (2020).
Michelle Wilson joined WasteAid in August 2020 to head up a two-year Circular Economy Network Project funded by Global Sustainable Food Packaging Leader Huhtamaki.
Michelle is a development specialist with over 15 years of experience living and working in developing countries (Chad, DRC, Ethiopia, Uganda, Sierra Leone and Tanzania).Prior to joining WasteAid Michelle was working as a Freelance Consultant developing an Impact Management Framework for a clothing Social Enterprise Arakele and a Life Skills Curriculum as part of a World Bank funded Livelihoods Project for adolescent girls in Tigray, Ethiopia. Previous to this she was Director of Programmes for Farm Africa with oversight of a £12m portfolio of development projects in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.
Michelle has extensive experience of project cycle management from original design through to monitoring, evaluation and learning. She has worked with the leading institutional donors including EU, UK Aid, NORAD, SIDA, Irish Aid, Comic Relief as well as Corporate donors such as Waitrose. She has on the ground experience in community resilience, value chain analysis, market development, climate change, environment, agriculture, education and particular expertise in gender analysis. Michelle has a Masters in Conflict Violence and Development from School of African and Oriental Studies and a Masters in French and Business Studies from St Andrews University.
Luther Hinga joined the WasteAid team in February 2020, bringing waste management expertise from the UK and business experience from Nairobi, Kenya. Luther is an Associate Member at the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management and is passionate about finding a long-term solution to the global waste infrastructure and collection system crisis.
Luther holds a BEng (Hons) in Chemical Engineering from Aston University, including sustainable waste and renewable technologies, which sparked Luther’s interest in pursuing an impactful career in the global waste sector.
Luther’s main focus at WasteAid will be to project manage the UKAid Match plastics recycling training centre in Douala, Cameroon, as well as supporting lots of other WasteAid initiatives, so watch out for his updates!
Sarahjane Widdowson (chair)
Hilary Silenga (treasurer)
Rachel Wildblood (co-founder)
Professor David C Wilson MBE, Patron
Independent Waste and Resource Management Consultant and Visiting Professor at Imperial College London
Over nearly 40 years, David Wilson’s work as an international consultant has been split roughly 50:50 between Western Europe and emerging economies. A common theme has been advising cities and governments to identify and take the next appropriate steps in developing their own sustainable waste and resource management systems. He has worked on municipal solid wastes and on hazardous wastes; on broad national and city-wide waste management strategies; and on more specific topics ranging from behaviour change for waste prevention, to informal sector recycling in developing countries, to evidence based policy making.
Professor Wilson was awarded an MBE in 2006 ‘for services to waste management in the UK and Europe’, and has won a number of prestigious professional awards. He is a prolific author whose publications include UNEP’s inaugural Global Waste Management Outlook (2015); UN-Habitat’s Solid Waste Management in the World’s Cities (2010); and the World Bank’s Strategic Planning Guide for Municipal Solid Waste Management (2001). He is the current Junior Vice President of the UK Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM).
David Leeke, IT Manager & Project Support
David’s 30 years’ experience in database design and online data collection, manipulation and analysis adds value to the work of WasteAid in the monitoring and evaluation of projects.
David has supported WasteAid since its inception and is responsible for the design, implementation and smooth running of all the organisation’s communication and data management systems.
Besides his IT activities, he has also worked on two WasteAid projects in The Gambia, and regularly shares community waste management knowledge and skills with partners in India and Indonesia.
Pierre Kamsouloum, Associate
WasteAid UK associate Pierre Kamsouloum, a Cameroonian national, is a trainer and manufacturer in the recycling of plastics waste into building materials. He is the national Director of the PAFAP project, supported by the Roger Milla Foundation. He has worked in The Gambia, Mali, Nigeria, Ghana, Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone and trained over 1500 individuals on the recycling of low-grade plastic films into tiles, bricks and pavers, on behalf of the Living Earth Foundation, UNDP, WasteAid UK and others.
As a self-made entrepreneur, he runs his own paver manufacturing business and he has direct experience of developing and building recycling businesses.
Isatou Ceesay, Associate
Isatou Ceesay, a Gambia national, is the President of the Women’s Initiative the Gambia (WIG). Through her organisation, WIG, Isatou has over 20 years’ experience of developing collaborative partnerships with many organisations (EU, UNDP, Universal Purpose, Deline’s Gift, Peace Corps, WasteAid UK). With the experience gained from these projects Isatou Ceesay has developed the leadership, experience, tools and commitment to provide regions of the Gambia and Africa with a viable integrated approach to sustainable development.
She has been at the forefront of approaches that use waste reprocessing livelihoods for marginalised groups, notably youth and women, and has worked in Senegal and Ghana as well as numerous projects in The Gambia. WIG use waste recycling as an entry point for the poor to learn business development skills, save and access mainstream financial services.
Leanne Trow, Volunteer Coordinator
Leanne Trow is WasteAid’s volunteer coordinator, supporting and coordinating the WasteAid champions programme. Leanne develops materials and resources for the WasteAid champion team and provides fundraising and awareness raising support.
Leanne works at Frith Resource Management, an independent waste management consultancy where she works on UK and international projects. FRM are keen supporters of WasteAid and actively raise funds and promote WasteAid’s vision. Leanne’s professional expertise lies in waste and resource management, local government waste collection, and waste treatment technologies. She has a BSc in Environmental Geoscience and is a graduate member of CIWM.
Professor Margaret Bates, Associate
Margaret has worked in the sector for 28 years mainly in the university sector and she has an interest in all types of solid waste management. Her international experience has been mainly associated with e-waste management, having worked in Kenya and Nigeria helping develop e-waste legislation and delivering training for the informal sector. In Cote d’Ivoire, South Africa and Zambia Margaret has worked on e-waste (as part of an EU project) developing a toolkit for e-waste management. In Uganda she is working with Rotary International on a project to empower and assist town councils to change their general wastes management practices. Margaret has also, for several years, been advising the Caribbean island of St Marten on better ways of dealing with their waste, suggesting initiatives and alternatives to divert waste from their dump.
Nicole Garofano, Associate
Nicole Garofano is an Australian dedicated to improving the management of resource-rich ‘waste materials’, particularly plastic, in small island developing states (SIDS). Nicole is a community-based waste practitioner and researcher whose experience evolved during 8 years leading a non-governmental organisation in Barbados. Supported by many agencies during her time there (including UNDP, UK High Commission, The Coca-Cola Foundation, among others), the organisation maintained a strong focus on solid waste management, with the CoRe NETWORK and Clean Up Barbados two ongoing initiatives launched under her directorship.
Nicole has a Master of Development Practice and a Graduate Certificate in Environmental Management from the University of Queensland (UQ), Australia. She has returned to UQ to complete her PhD, focused on the generation and management of plastic food and beverage packaging materials and the ways innovation could deliver improved livelihood outcomes for communities in SIDS in the Pacific, Caribbean and Indian Ocean regions.
Oliver Priestley-Leach, Associate
Oliver has 25 years’ experience in planning, establishing and managing environmental projects in the UK and overseas for NGOs and local government, including twelve years in waste and recycling. Particular experience with the community sector working in partnership with the public sector.
Career highlights include: 2 years at Freetown City Council, Sierra Leone focused on street cleansing with youth groups and local delivery teams; 18 months with Oxfam, Georgia on a public health programme for displaced people working in partnership with local authority to deliver services; Operational management of community recycling business in Wales working with volunteers and offenders to deliver recycling services to 50,000 households and businesses; Local government adviser to 35+ local authorities on improving the performance of their recycling and waste services; Waste Strategy development and implementation for UK Local Authority of 38,000 households.
Other overseas development experience: Jordan, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Israel, Uganda.
Ed Cook, Associate
Ed has worked in the waste management business since 2001, initially as the Managing Director of Network recycling and later as a waste management consultant. He is now a Research Fellow in Circular Economy Systems for Waste Plastics at the University of Leeds where he specialises in research into the impact of the informal recycling Sector on plastic waste pollution.
Internationally Ed has worked on projects in Mexico and Azad-Kashmir. Recently he has assisted WasteAid UK and the CIWM with the development of their guidance into waste technologies for low- and middle-income countries.
Other areas of expertise include the development of technology for waste valorisation; municipal and commercial waste data analysis; motivational training; developing reuse in household waste recycling centres; occupational and public health aspects of waste management and sustainable events waste management.
Cath Wilson, Associate
Cath has worked in the waste sector – predominantly on litter and fly-tipping prevention – since 1998. She began her waste journey at Edinburgh City Council before moving to Keep Scotland beautiful, liaising with local authorities, schools, businesses and community organisations to take forward litter and fly-tipping prevention initiatives. From here Cath developed a Litter Strategy programme for Falkirk Council which she managed for 9 years.
Since 2011 Cath has worked in Zero Waste Scotland’s Litter & Flytipping team. She is very excited that some of the issues she deals with on a daily basis are now gaining a huge amount of interest due to the recent surge in interest in global marine litter issues, a growing appetite for extended producer responsibility and the commitment to a deposit return system for Scotland.
We are always looking for experienced waste management and international development professionals to join our team of Associates.
If you have suitable experience and expertise to support our projects and increase our impact, click here.