SUEZ and MakeSense teamed up in 2014 to create the Future of Waste program, focused on alternative solutions for reducing, reusing and recycling waste. For COP21, Future of Waste is taking action and launching its first Waste&Climate Impact Program, which aims to build public understanding of the links between global warming and waste, while helping entrepreneurs to highlight their positive impacts on climate. Each week, open_resource gives Future of Waste its own slot to talk about an entrepreneur from the Waste&Climate program. Credit: Thinkstock – Fuse
Senegal’s infrastructure for collecting and handling used tyres is overwhelmingly inadequate. This leads to thousands of tyres being stockpiled outdoors or burned, which presents great dangers for the environment and human health. The start-up E-cover is addressing this problem by turning used tyres into new products, in particular into construction materials.
Credit: Thinkstock – Fuse
Today, in urban Senegal, the consumer society holds sway. The main focus is on buying products that come and go continuously, usually without any attention being paid to the waste they generate. The amount of poorly managed waste is truly enormous. For example, 70,000 tons of plastic waste are currently dumped in Senegal’s natural environment. Used tyres are another type of frequently found waste. These piles of tyres pose a danger to the environment due to the toxic fumes they produce when burned.
The E-cover start-up
E-cover, a start-up based in Dakar, Senegal, aims to transform dumpsite waste into new products. It subscribes to a circular economy model that creates value by reducing waste.
E-cover’s main activity is recycling tires by transforming this widespread form of waste into a resource. The tyres are made of a complex blend of materials and provide a significant source of revenue if recycled. The most widely-used technique for “recycling” the tyres is to burn them to recover the metal they contain, but this is not an ecologically sound method. Given this, E-cover has developed an ecological recycling process that involves cutting, crushing and compacting used tyres. E-cover has grouped its first products into its “RE-tyres” line, which includes floor coverings and roof and other tiles made from recycled tyres.
Today, E-Cover is attempting to industrialise and simplify its production process. In order to do this, it is launching a crowd-funding campaign to raise the funds for the equipment required.
Other solutions to turn waste into construction materials
There is great room for innovation in the area of transforming waste into construction materials. Thus, Paver’Stic, another start-up based in Senegal, recycles plastic waste into paving stones. GreenWood is an Indian start-up that uses rice chaff – which is traditionally burned – to produce economically priced construction materials.
You can help support the E-cover start-up by contributing to its crowd-funding campaign: http://igg.me/at/ecover221