WasteAid Creating Opportunities for a Circular Economy

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WasteAid is a UK-based non-governmental organisation that works with communities and policy makers in low and middle-income countries to implement waste management and recycling programmes. The company’s work improves the livelihoods of poor and marginalised groups, promotes circular economy innovation, and contributes to a cleaner and healthier future for all. With funding from institutional donors, corporate partners, and trusts and foundations WasteAid delivers waste management interventions where they are most needed. Their work supports the development of the nascent waste collection and recycling sector, to create livelihood opportunities and prevent pollution from waste.

WasteAid also runs Circular Economy Network projects to promote and nurture grassroots innovation, believing that the best solutions to the waste crisis often come from the people living with it every day. The company works with diverse communities, businesses, and governments to deliver innovative resource management projects that contribute to a circular economy. WasteAid’s mixed portfolio provides unique insight into the range of opportunities to turn waste into an economic opportunity.

WasteAid in South Africa

The waste and recycling sector in South Africa is comprised of municipal service providers, private companies, and informal waste collectors, often working as associations or cooperatives. The informal sector plays a vital role in recovering materials for recycling, but access to finance is limited and they are often not recognised for the important service they provide to society.

Since commencing work in South Africa in 2020, WasteAid forged links with innovators and entrepreneurs with a passion for recovering the value from wasted resources. The company sought to amplify support for those at the frontline of waste management, who deliver a much-needed service but lack support from government and access to finance.

WasteAid has had a presence in South Africa since 2020, with the launch of the Circular Economy Network initiative in Johannesburg.

Since mid-2022, WasteAid has been empowering those on the first rung of the waste value chain in South Africa to grow their income-earning potential through the delivery of a tailoured training curriculum and mentorship programme that focuses on building essential life skills, and the core aspects of running a successful waste-related business. From mastering the fundamentals of finance, to learning how to extract value from waste streams and materials, WasteAid’s programme equips individuals with the knowledge and skills they need to thrive.

In 2023, WasteAid launched an innovative e-waste repair programme in Johannesburg. Following a similar curriculum to its successful wastepreneur programme, but uniquely focused on technical expertise tailoured for electronic waste.


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