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Turning Kenya’s trash into treasure

Plastic can take hundreds, even thousands of years to break down in the environment. In Kenya, communities are struggling to cope with the thousands of tons of waste being generated each year.

Despite having grown up in a slum littered with trash, 28-year-old Lorna Ruto developed a passion for taking care of the natural environment. 

Now her passion has become her business, turning plastic waste from the city of Nairobi into something useful – fence posts. Her goal is not only to grow a successful company, but also to provide her community with much-needed jobs.

Listen to the report by Andrew Wasike in Nairobi, Kenya:

Turning Kenya’s trash into treasure

Lorna Ruto

Lorna Ruto was tired of seeing trash in her neighborhood – so she came up with an efficient way of cleaning it up (Photo: Andrew Wasike)

Employees sorting plastic

The first step is gathering and sorting reusable plastics (Photo: Andrew Wasike)

Employees manning the machines

Then the old plastic is processed in Lorna’s factory (Photo: Andrew Wasike)

Plastic poles

Here’s the result: sturdy and sustainable fence posts (Photo: Andrew Wasike)

Lorna and Charles

Charles Kalama, pictured here with Lorna, is a co-founder of Eco Post (Photo: Andrew Wasike)

Lorna at work with client

Lorna not only makes the fence posts, she then has to sell them; she’s pictured here with a client (Photo: Andrew Wasike)


Tuesday 15.10.2013 | 14:39