COLIBA is Pioneering Waste Management App in Ghana

COLIBA, aims in collecting, sorting, and processing materials that are traditionally viewed as waste and transforming them into the raw inputs used to create new products.

The startup is currently piloting in five schools in Ghana, generating close to 500 kilogrammes monthly, which it is hoping to grow to two tonnes by November. The app shows users how to separate their waste, informs them of the real-time value of the waste, and allows them to request and schedule a pick-up. They can then also get paid for the waste via the mobile platform.

COLIBA focuses on plastic, polythene and metal waste materials, integrating SMS notifications and messaging in order to reach out to users of feature phones for wider coverage.

Co-founder Yaya Kone stated that “Every year in Ivory Coast, the best part of one million tonnes of household waste is not collected and sprinkles the streets”. “We sensitize and incite the population into recycling”.

Not only is this of great social benefit, he noted that the startup has identified a major market opportunity. “Looking at West Africa, millions of tonnes of solid waste is generated annually, leading to the gradual increase in the number of solid waste recycling companies in the region to tap the economic opportunity. Taking Nigeria as an example, over US$250 million in revenue is generated annually by the waste recycle businesses from the Lagos area. The same condition applies to other West African countries. Yet he said most of these companies lack an adequate supply of solid waste materials to process and export to international markets such as India and China”.

“COLIBA is determined to utilise this opportunity to provide consistent and reliable waste supply to recycle companies at a competitive price,” Kone said. “The current rate of urbanisation and economic development in cities of West Africa will also lead to an increase in waste generation. COLIBA intends to expand to Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso over the next five years.”

Tons of benefit also lies for families that can collect waste for COLIBA. “Families can then redeem their points for goods that they value, such as airtime, basic food items, and household goods.” he said.

The Ivory Coast-based startups was launched in Ghana in February, and expectations are high in doing so in its home market-Ivory Coast later this year.

Originally published at NoizMakaz.