Reading about Simonetta Sommaruga’s visit to Kenya in a recent SRF article inspired us to delve deeper into the story of the recycling company she visited: Takataka Solutions.

Daniel Paffenholz, founder of Takataka Solutions, participated in one of the very first seif Bootcamps and was one of the seif Awards finalists back in 2012. At that time, seif itself was in the development phase since in Switzerland there was barely ground for social entrepreneurs to get support. Gebert Rüf Stiftung, as one of the first, enabled seif to start its support activities. As a result, we were able to assist Daniel with the business plan development.

Today, Takataka Solutions strive to make Nairobi and Kenya a cleaner, healthier place to live by recycling waste into new, usable items. We are particularly excited to see that social entrepreneurs of the first hour, as Daniel, endured and are so successful today.

But what exactly is Takataka Solutions about?

Takataka means waste in Kiswahili, and Takataka Solutions is a pioneer in offering affordable waste management services to previously unserved low income areas. They operate an end-to-end value chain model, starting with door-to-door collection and finally produce various waste-to-value products such as compost and recyclables.

Urban Africa has an unresolved waste management problem. According to Takataka solutions, more than 50% of Nairobi’s waste does not get collected and less than 10% gets recycled, leading to both environmental and health problems. Collecting and recycling previously uncollected waste, Takataka Solutions makes the environment cleaner and healthier, while closing the loop for valuable materials. Monthly, they recycle and manage more than 1’300 tons of waste, saving over 10,000 tons of green house gas emissions annually.

Takataka Solutions employ local youths to collect waste door-to-door, while training and equipping clients to separate their waste. The organic waste is then composted to organic fertilizer, while the recyclables are sold to outside recycling companies. Takataka Solutions have created 250 full time jobs and over 50% of their employees are women.

How Takataka Solutions makes an impact: The story of Emily Achieng

The story of Emily Achieng is just one example of how Takataka Solutions have made an impact with their innovative business solution. Being unemployed, Emily could not afford school for her three children and they were often sick because of the waste surrounding her small room in Nairobi’s lower income area. After starting to work for Takataka Solutions as a compost manager, Emily gained a lot of respect from the community. With her monthly salary, she could send her children to school and they were now covered by the company’s medical insurance.

Want to know more about Takataka Solutions? Click here to get to their website.

Click here to learn more about the seif Awards 2019 and how you can apply.