Biffa's team in Gambia to see sustainability projects in action

Biffa visits WasteAid projects in The Gambia

18 Mar 2024
3 mins
Making fuel from coconut husks and peanut shells is one of the projects now underway thanks to Biffa’s on-going partnership with WasteAid
Circular Economy

Showing people how to make sustainable fuel from coconut husks and peanut shells is one of the incredible projects now underway in The Gambia thanks to Biffa’s on-going partnership with WasteAid. 

In 2019, Biffa joined with WasteAid to provide long-term financial and technical expertise to help develop sustainable waste management and recycling initiatives in lower and middle-income countries. 

This continued support has enabled WasteAid to expand from four projects in four countries to more than 12 programmes in nine countries across Africa and Asia.  

A team from Biffa and WasteAid recently visited The Gambia to see some of the projects in action. 

There they met a cooperative of women gardeners who have received training and equipment so they can make sustainable fuel briquettes from ground coconut husks and peanut shells. 

The team also visited the beachside fishing community of Tanji, where residents have formed a business called Seneya – which means 'cleanliness' – to collect and sell discarded plastic for recycling, instead of burning it. 

To date the group has collected and sold over two tonnes of waste plastic. As one of the collectors said, this means they can send their children to school with breakfast and lunch each day. 

Check out Biffa's long-term partnership with WasteAid.

Carla Brian, Head of Partnerships at Biffa, said: “Biffa and WasteAid share a common purpose: to change the way people think about waste to help tackle the global challenge of pollution and climate change.  

“In The Gambia, we had the honour of meeting collector groups, policymakers, waste entrepreneurs and community leaders, to witness firsthand the positive impact of WasteAid’s programmes there. 

“It’s not just about managing waste; it’s about transforming lives and livelihoods. From plastics to textiles, seeing waste turned into valuable commodities is nothing short of remarkable.” 

Read WasteAid's latest Impact Report here: Impact Report - WasteAid

Jessica Stickland, Head of Development at WasteAid, said: “Until you see our projects in action it can be difficult to imagine the truly transformational impact they have.  

“From plastic collectors working to clean their local community and beaches, to women farmers making eco-briquettes that provide a forest-friendly alternative to charcoal, they’re not only making a sustainable income, they’re helping the environment too. 

“We're privileged to work with partners like Biffa who are so passionate and committed to developing innovative and sustainable solutions to the waste crisis - finding ways to help people and the planet thrive. 

“We're also excited to announce that we will be launching programmes in Uganda for the first time, focusing on reducing textile waste through circular solutions and expanding our hugely successful ‘wastepreneur’ project which has been positively impacting microenterprises and reducing waste in communities across Johannesburg since 2022.”