The trash has little chance of being recycled either. Which is why Bilikiss and her team sat down to determine what would be the best recyclable waste to collect. It had to be lightweight, since their chosen form of transport was a vehicle that can weave in and out of the slums with ease: a low-cost cargo bike manufactured using local materials.
Households that have subscribed to Wecyclers receive a weekly visit from its collectors, who weigh the waste, log the amount and take it to Wecycler hubs. Two hubs have been created to date in convenient locations – it can be hard work pedalling waste! – thanks to a partnership with LAWMA. They have provided the land and are eager for the company to scale up. Since launching its activity in August 2012, Wecyclers has put 13 bikes in operation, collected over 60 tons of waste and generated US$20,000+ in revenue, enough to hire 16 people full time.