The Chinese company Weeco Recycling Company has just opened two plastic waste collection and recycling centres near the port city of Mombasa in southeast Kenya and Athi River, southeast of Nairobi. With a total capacity of 2,000 tonnes per month, these units required an investment of 4.5 billion shillings ($45 million).
A new player has entered the waste market in Kenya. It is the Chinese company Weeco Recycling Company. The company has just launched two waste collection and recycling lines in Athi River, a small suburban city in Nairobi, and Mombasa, Kenya’s second-largest city. The Chinese company has partnered with Kenya PET Recycling Company Limited (Petco), an organisation that manages waste collection in Kenya.
“We entered the Kenyan market to provide a sustainable solution to the challenge of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles. In addition, we will provide employment opportunities, income and improve the standard of living of the collectors who will supply us. We are able to recycle between 1,000 and 5,000 tonnes per month thanks to the installation of two treatment lines in Nairobi and Mombasa,” explained Wang Zhangyin, Director of Weeco Recycling Company.
A strategic partnership
Weeco Recycling Company signed the partnership with Petco in the presence of Kenyan authorities, including Alfred Mutua, Governor of Machakos County (Athi River) and Geoffrey Wahungu, Executive Director of the National Environmental Management Authority (Nema). “Petco will provide a subsidy of 5 shillings ($0.04) per kilogram of PET bottles that Weeco Recycling Company has recycled,” said John Withaka, Petco’s president. Initially, the plastic waste will be scrambled and transformed into granules. This product will be used to produce fibre and clothing.
Weeco Recycling Company thus benefits from a favourable climate for investment in waste recovery in Kenya. While the country is benefiting from the arrival of recycling companies. The image of a city like Nairobi has been damaged for a long time because of the Dandora landfill. The Chinese company should help reduce its size (estimated at 15 hectares, editor’s note). In fact, the local government is planning to build a plant there that will incinerate waste to produce electricity.
The call for tenders for the construction of this incinerator with energy recovery, in public-private partnership (PPP), resulted in 60 applications according to David Makori, Director of Environment in Nairobi County. The company selected to build and operate this infrastructure is expected to be known shortly, as the local government plans to launch the work by June 2019. The winner will initially have to invest no less than 20 billion Kenyan shillings ($197 million) to produce 40 MW of electricity.
Jean Marie Takouleu