WasteAid is an independent UK charity (non-profit), set up by waste management professionals to share practical and low-cost waste management know-how with communities in low-income countries.
As waste managers, we understand the importance of waste management for public health, and we also know that small enterprises can be successful in turning waste materials into useful products. We set up WasteAid in 2015 to share know-how and skills with communities that can benefit from this type of advice and support.
Around 1 in 3 people globally don’t have decent waste management. Pollution caused by waste harms people’s health and the environment, and damages the local economy. In contrast, an affordable waste management system is relatively simple to implement, improving the environment, creating jobs and protecting public health – particularly for children.
Plastic pollution in the marine environment is of major global concern, and WasteAid is helping tackle this global problem. We work with upstream and coastal communities to set up small recycling centres and help keep plastic out of rivers and the oceans. We also share skills in managing organic waste, helping people make the most from the ‘waste’ materials they have.
We share these skills with local trainers so that the knowledge can be passed on from community to community. We keep the cost of equipment as low as possible, because $10 can make a big difference to the viability of a recycling start-up in a deprived community. We make sure there are local markets for any products made from recycled materials, maximising the value to the local economy.
What we have to offer…
WasteAid waste awareness and training
- Learn about the importance of waste management for community health, hygiene and wellbeing
- Find out how to organise and run community clean-ups and waste surveys (land and marine)
- Discover the most appropriate ways to reduce waste and to manage waste safely
- Understand the benefits of separating waste materials, re-use and recycling
- Learn how to turn waste materials into useful products with low-cost recycling techniques
WasteAid capacity building and working together to make change happen
- Learn about organising a community consultation and group decision-making process
- Form effective working partnerships between communities, local authorities and private businesses
- Understand how to collect, manage and present data to improve local waste management
- Become confident in approaching regional and international support networks
- Join WasteAid in using the power of the internet to connect, share and grow
In 2013, Simon Penney and Rachel Wildblood were at an international waste management conference and noticed that despite being a huge industry, there was no non-profit working specifically to help communities in poorer countries manage their waste. Simon spent the next two years talking with colleagues and funders from across the globe to start up WasteAid, inspiring teams in Australia and the UK. WasteAid Australia was set up independently in 2014 with a focus mainly on getting waste management services to Aboriginal and Torres Straits Island communities.
In 2015 the UK group chaired by Mike Webster secured the funding to register WasteAid UK as a charity. Since then, Mike and Zoë Lenkiewicz, with a team of dedicated trustees and colleagues, developed the concept and successfully transformed it from a start-up to an established award-winning organisation.
In 2018 “WasteAid UK” transitioned to “WasteAid” to better reflect the international nature of the team’s work. Growing interest in serious global challenges like climate change and plastic pollution has helped propel WasteAid into the spotlight, and with partners and supporters from across the globe, WasteAid’ s positive impact is growing every day.