Accelerating the circular economy model for a sustainable urban future

31st October, 2019

World Cities Day general theme - ‘Better City, Better Life’

2019 theme - “Changing the world: innovations and better life for future generations”.

 

Accelerating the circular economy model for a sustainable urban future

Cities are major engines of the world’s economic growth and sustainable development. However, most of them face visible environmental and social challenges from increasing waste generation. According to a World Bank report, cities today generate 2.01 billion tons of waste, a number that will increase to 3.40 billion tons in 2050 as two thirds of the population moves to cities.

How can cities think differently about transforming their waste management systems to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 11 - sustainable cities and communities? The circular economy model presents great opportunities for reducing and recycling waste into valuable products or resources that enhance sustainable economic growth.

Sanergy, founded in 2011 is a member of the Toilet Board Coalition and uses the circular economy model to solve pressing sanitation and waste management challenges that emerging cities such as Nairobi, Kenya face.

The company, builds high quality, low-cost toilets in urban non-sewered areas and distributes them via a monthly subscription fee to urban residents. On a regular basis, they safely remove all of the waste generated and transport it to their recycling factory where it is all treated and converted into high quality agricultural inputs predominantly organic fertilizer, insect based animal feed and briquettes used as fuel. To date, Sanergy serves over 100,000 people with safe and dignified sanitation every single day and safely removes 10,000 tons of waste on average every year.

Over the years of Sanergy’s partnership with the Toilet Board Coalition, the company has found numerous mentorship opportunities that build teams capacity for scaling safe sanitation and waste management.

Together, we have also developed a strong advocacy team that helps to create an enabling environment and a market for products manufactured as a result of the sanitation and waste management circular economy.

In Kenya, where 80% of the population depends on agriculture, yet experiences low farm yield due to poor soil health, Sanergy now manufactures and sells a high quality organic fertilizer that addresses this challenge and increases farmers’ yields by 30%.

As Sanergy continues to innovate their circular model for replication and scale, they are also building partnerships with other coalition members such as Veolia – a waste management mogul in implementing strategies for clean, green cities of tomorrow.