Simon Munywe: Ex-Lecturer Making Millions From Waste Management, Recycling

Simon Munywe is the brains behind Kayole Environment Management Association (KEMA), dealing in waste management and recycling.

With his initiative, he did not only earn an income for himself but also contributed to environmental sustainability in his locality.

Munywe also created job opportunities as he works with a team of young people who help him with among other tasks collecting garbage from households.

Here is his story as told by WoK.

Munywe, a former mathematics lecturer, thought of starting his organization after realizing the potential in waste management.

He started off by collecting garbage from households.

Munywe collects three kilograms of garbage twice a week from some 12,000 households around his locality.

With a total of around Ksh 1.4 million every month, each household pay a small fee for garbage collection services.

He used part of the money to set up a system that sorts the waste into different categories; plastics, organic, glass and metals.

While low-density plastics are repurposed into handbags and pillows, organic waste is converted into manure and sold to agricultural businesses.

Munywe sells glass and metal to other recyclers who have majored in the same.

Plastics on the other hand undergo a recycling process after which they make items such as fencing poles, drainage tunnels and roofing tiles among others.

Munywe is also into sustainable energy solutions.

Alongside his recycling business, he also makes smokeless charcoal briquettes using coffee and rice husks, sawdust and plastic materials.

He makes the charcoal briquettes using a machine that he developed. He also sells and rents out the machine to individuals and companies making briquettes.

Munywe noted that he has customers spread across among other countries Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia.

“The machine goes for Ksh 35,000. Normally I sell about 50 machines in a month within and outside the country,” he said.

Munywe also treats latrines by using zinc from old batteries, caustic soda, sodium and hydrochloric acid.

“…I mix in specific proportions. These react in combustion, forming a huge smoke which then separates fluids from the solids. The fluids flow into the soil and the solids sink down,” he explained.

Munywe has also had his fair share of challenges in the business.

The main challenge, however, was convincing people about the quality of products made from recycled materials.