The director of WasteAid UK has paid tribute to the RWM Ambassadors for backing his fledging charity in 2014 with £15,000 to help deliver practical and low-cost waste services in developing countries.
Mike Webster thanked the group of leading figures in the waste sector for choosing WasteAid to be the first recipient of an annual grant from i2i Events, organiser of the annual RWM exhibition at the NEC.
Webster was updating the Ambassadors on progress and growth during the past two years, and said: “The WasteAid vision would not have been possible without the funding.”
“There is no-one else [working] in this area,” he said. “Waste is a complete blind spot – I don’t get why.”
He said the goal was to get similar recognition nationally to that afforded to WaterAid, which was established more than 30 years ago.
Water companies in the UK have groups of employees supporting the work of WaterAid and Webster urged people within waste companies to back WasteAid in similar ways.
The charity’s original work was in Gambia, Africa’s smallest country, helping poor communities in the Brikama area to establish waste management practices where there is no municipal infrastructure. The work involved:
- The first ever waste analysis in the country, to find out what materials were available in the general waste stream
- Consulting local people to determine the most appropriate materials to target
- Developing simple recycling processes that are low-cost and easily replicable
- Provided business and enterprise training so that people could set up successful small businesses, selling products made from materials that would otherwise be waste
Webster told the Ambassadors: “Our vision is to see a network of people haranguing their governments. These are societies grappling with new issues.”
The initiative in Gambia recently won a prestigious National Energy Globe Award.
- i2i events is part of the Ascential group which includes MRW.