Mike Webster, Chief Executive
CEO of award-winning charity WasteAid, Mike was voted in 2017 as the top waste and resource influencer in the UK by his peers.
He has worked for over 17 years within the waste and resources sector in the UK and internationally, and has developed and grown not-for-profit consultancy, charity and ethical business and networking organisations.
Mike is an accomplished waste business development specialist, having developed solid waste business and supported entrepreneurs, and consulted on and trained extensively within this area.
His overseas work includes the South Pacific, Latin America and eight sub-Saharan African countries, managing ground-breaking projects delivering waste livelihoods, community waste management and research. He holds an MSc in Environmental Economics.
Zoë Lenkiewicz, 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.
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.
Zoë has a BSc (hons) in Environmental Biology and an MSc in Environment and Development.
Jonathan Straight, Patron
Jonathan Straight is an entrepreneur and creative best known as the founder Straight plc, the UK’s leading supplier of waste and recycling containers. 10 years after founding the business it was floated on the London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market. He exited the business in 2014 after leading it for 21 years.
Jonathan is currently a director of water saving NGO Waterwise and contemporary art gallery and learning space The Tetley. He engaged as Brand Ambassador to Approved Food, a Sheffield-based food redistribution business. He is also involved with several charities including the international food waste campaigning charity, The Real Junk Food Project and creativity champions IVE. In addition, he has invested in start-ups, including solid-state photonic cooling business Inclusive Designs Limited where he chairs the board.
Aside from his business career, Jonathan is an exhibited and published photographer, will shortly publish a memoir of his career in recycling and is a regular presenter on local television.
As a former winner of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year competition he has a long-standing passion for entrepreneurship. He is an Enterprise Ambassador at the Leeds University Business School and regularly speaks about his career and experiences.
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).
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.
Jill Matthews, Associate
Jill Matthews is a lifelong conservationist who brings three decades of management and community development experience to the WasteAid team. Having worked on National Nature Reserves, European Directives, research, survey and monitoring plans for protected areas, Jill is clear that we 7 billion humans should have greater respect for our planet and the wildlife we share with it.
Jill recognises that waste reduction and better waste management are urgently needed worldwide to prevent the reckless pollution of the air, water and land. Jill encountered WasteAid while developing a community waste management project in Kenya, adjacent to a protected wildlife area. She is committed to WasteAid’s vision for a network of community waste management centres where waste is treated as a resource to generate income, not simply rubbish to throw away and pollute our environment.
David Leeke, IT Manager & Project Support
David Leeke is WasteAid’s web and data specialist. He built and maintains the WasteAid website and provides data management and analysis support for projects and campaigns. 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 is exploring the application of data to community waste management, using evidence gathering and analysis of technologies, systems and user interfaces.
He has worked on two WasteAid projects in The Gambia, and regularly shares community waste management knowledge and skills with partners in India and Indonesia.
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 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 for over 14 years, initially as the Managing Director of Network Recycling and more recently as a Senior Consultant for Resource Futures Ltd where he specialises in developing markets for niche recyclates.
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; and sustainable events waste management. Ed also works as a health and safety advisor which involves the development of safe systems of work for a wide range of activities within the waste industry.
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 to expand our team of Associates to help us expand the community waste management model.
If you have experience in waste management in lower- and middle-income countries, particularly small-scale recycling and social enterprise projects and would like to work with WasteAid, drop us a line!
Waste Aid in Australia works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island (ATSI) communities to create sustainable solutions to inadequate waste management in disadvantaged communities. Waste Aid Australia assists ATSI partners to leverage their own skills and expertise to manage environmental problems on their own land. Find out more at wasteaid.org.au