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Refuse Truck Boosts Waste Collection in Kenyan Slum
October 2014

A refuse vehicle is on its way to one of the largest slums in Africa, Kibera in Kenya, to increase waste collections as part of a clean-up operation instigated by Devon Contract Waste (DCW) in 2012 and supported by organisations in the waste sector.

DCW donated the vehicle components, comprising a 7.5 tonne Isuzu chassis and an NTM body, which it then handed over to remanufacturing experts Refuse Vehicle Solutions Ltd (RVS). RVS gave their time and resources free of charge to rebuild the vehicle and make it fit for purpose. After modifying the chassis and correcting any defects on the body, RVS mounted it onto the chassis and re-sprayed the vehicle. The finished vehicle looks and operates as good as new.

Reading-based Vehicle Weighing Solutions Ltd (VWS) contributed to the project by donating new sets of heavy wear tyres and helping with shipping costs. South Hams District Council generously provided 177 wheelie bins, to enable the provision of commercial collections and NTM kindly donated a large number of spare parts to assist with rebuilding the bin lift.

Simon Almond, Managing Director, DCW explained his reasons for getting involved in the project: “I was watching a video about Kibera on Comic Relief in 2011 and was shocked by the total lack of waste collection. With over 1 million people living in an area covering just 618 acres it was causing huge sanitation issues and health risks.”

Continued Simon: “I thought to myself there’s no point in having such strict environmental laws in Europe protecting our environment and ultimately the planet, if we don’t help developing countries deal with their waste. I was determined to use my knowledge and experience to help.”

Simon contacted a local charity called Riziki, which is supported by a UK Charity called Kibera In Need (KIN). He put forward his ideas and with their help gained an understanding of what was needed to make it happen. Riziki Safi Services (RSS) was born in 2012 and the first phase of the project was a community clean up to remove all the waste before a collection service was introduced.

Over the past two years RSS has built up collections from 5 villages to include over 7,000 residents. Sacks are given to each household with different waste streams collected on different days using handcarts. The food waste waste is composted and sold to local farmers and the general waste will go to landfill.

The addition of a vehicle means that RSS will be able to further increase collections in the slum subsidised by better-paid commercial work in the suburbs of Nairobi. The company now employs 7 people including a driver and the five-year plan is to have a fully self-sufficient waste management service, which caters for all 1 million Kibera residents. The same model can be replicated across other slum areas in Africa.

The vehicle was loaded for transportation at Felixstowe on 29 September and will arrive in Kibera on 7 November.

Simon Almond, Managing Director, DCW said: “I’m so grateful for the support we have had to make this happen. In particular I’d like to thank RVS, VWS, South Hams Council and NTM.”

Continued Simon: ”It’s been a huge challenge, working with people from a culture that is so different from ours, but it has been so rewarding. I hope that we can encourage other members of the UK waste management sector to get involved.”

The project still needs funds, equipment and more vehicles. To find out how to get involved or to make a donation contact Simon Almond on tel: 01392 361300 or

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