NjomBE BEyond: plastic recycling #3 Project presentation

in #ventureo2 years ago (edited)

Plastic!  More and more plastic and plastic waste! On the floor at the streets, on the land, on rivers, getting burned in house pits, ... And there is no alternative!

Street in Njombe
Stream in Njombe

What if we recycled this plastic locally and at small scale?

What if we produced functional objects for our community and make plastic recycling economically sustainable?

What if besides doing it ourselves, we train local entrepreneurs?

What if ...? No more "what if", let's get down to work!

NjomBE BEyond

We are going to open a workshop to recycle plastic at small scale by using the Precious Plastic machines. Following the effective approach of the SMART Centres, we are going to train local entrepreneurs so that through their businesses, a value chain is created around plastic recycling.  

In this way, plastic waste will no longer be a problem; instead, it will be valuable for the local community: by creating new jobs and by improving the current ones, by manufacturing recycled products useful for the local community and by raising environmental awareness.  

And we would like to go “beyond”. We conceive this project as a first step to make Njombe a circular town, to go beyond the current situation, the increasing waste generation, the pollution and the linear economy.  

Njombe and its 40000 inhabitants in southern Tanzania are colour, they are welcome and they are smiles following the music's rythim. And we want it to keep it the same. Hongera Njombe!


Our final objective is: to reduce the plastic wasted in Njombe town and to raise awareness in the local community about the problems and opportunities around plastic. 

Our specific objectives are: 

  • To establish a sustainable value chain for plastic recycling locally and at small scale 
  • To collaborate with the different stakeholders of the chain and ensure fair working conditions 
  • To involve the community, including schools, in Njombe Beyond to shed light on the problems and opportunities of plastic waste  

Road map

 So far we have… 

  • Discovered Njombe and the people who live here 
  • Characterised the waste generation in Njombe and the waste management system 
  • Researched the plastic flow in Njombe and Tanzania 
  • Ideated “how to reduce plastic waste in Njombe” in a brainstorming session with all SHIPO staff  
  • Confirmed the availability of materials, components and technical knowledge in Njombe to produce the machinery 
  • Got to know the interest in the project from local authorities and entrepreneurs 
  • Visited local industries and analysed the possibilities for collaboration  

... and our next steps are:

  • To analyse the demand for different useful products for the community and the feasibility to produce them out of recycled plastic. And produce them. 
  • To buy the components of the machines and finalize the installation in our workshop. We will first get the injection machine and the moulds and we will get the plastic flakes from local shredders. Afterwards, we will improve the shredders and we will get the rest of the machinery to produce other kinds of objects. 
  • To adjust the machines for the optimum operation and to experiment with them. 
  • To collaborate with the plastic waste pickers to get the necessary plastic. 
  • To train local entrepreneurs in the production and set up of the machines, in the manufacture of recycled products and in the development of their businesses. 
  • To conduct sensitising actions in various schools in Njombe.   


SMART CENTRE Tanzania is a unit within SHIPO, a local NGO based in Njombe. We deal with SMARTechs (Simple, Market based, Affordable and Repairable Technologies) that solve challenges of local communities on water supply, sanitation and, through Njombe Beyond, waste management. 

The SMART Center approach consists on capacitating the local entrepreneurs so that these technologies are deployed and reach the community through the private sector. In this way, the market for SMARTechs will exist even when the NGO’s work is over. You can read about our work and results here

We are three environmental engineers and a community development expert.  

Our assets

  • Space for the workshop and several tools 
  • Knowledge on recycling machine production. Technical support from the Precious Plastic community 
  • Network of local metal artisans able to fabricate the machines Support of the local authorities and local entrepreneurs: the Environment Department of Njombe Town Council has helped us to get to know the local waste management system, to record graphic materials, identify and connect with project stakeholders such as local entrepreneurs who collect, shred and transport plastic to Dar es Salaam. 

You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and subscribe to our mailing list

NjomBE BEyond "Where second life of plastic to satisfies local needs" 

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