With a focus on managing waste in Freetown, the “Mayor’s Pitch Night Special” held on 1st August, 2018 was an outstanding example of how Freetown’s business community can generate solutions to some of our most pressing problems.
The event was opened by the Chairman of GEN Sierra Leone, Mr. Sheka Forna. He reiterated why Freetown Pitch Night decided to hold the “Mayor Special Pitch Night”.
Under the right conditions, entrepreneurs can have incredible power. They can help regions prosper economically and, as they help engineer innovative solutions to problems and challenges, they can also serve society. Yvonne Aki-Sawyer OBE, Freetown’s new Mayor, won a comprehensive mandate from the voters of Freetown. This mandate includes job creation for the city’s young people and better waste management. As new and growing businesses represent the principal sources of job creation and innovative activity in an economy, two factors that generally help raise standards of living for all, municipal authorities across the world are turning to entrepreneurs for ideas to help them address the challenges they face.
Recognizing the role that entrepreneurship can play in helping address Freetown’s challenges Mayor Aki-Sawyer, with Freetown Pitch Night, is inviting entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas for waste recycling businesses to include a significant youth employment component.
Freetown requires a comprehensive waste management solution which must be delivered city-wide, and will require consolidation and significant resources.
In her opening remarks, Her Worship Yvonne Aki- Sawyer, the Mayor of Freetown, thanked the organizers Freetown Pitch Night, GEN Sierra Leone and Innovation SL for having her and holding such an innovative event. She explained how Freetown City Council is tackling problems of poor sanitation, housing crisis, rapid urbanization and deforestation by prioritizing four main areas: environmental management, urban planning, revenue mobilization and human development.
The evening’s six pitches were notable by innovative approaches to Freetown’s waste management problem that create employment, generate revenue and emphasize the potential of recycling.
The Masada Waste Transformers
Current waste management providers, Masada in collaboration with their partner, Waste Transformers proffered a solution focused on unlocking the potential of biogas in Sierra Leone. The hybrid solution consists of 2×2 MW anaerobic digesters in Freetown, each fed with municipal waste and a network of 40×100 kWh small scale containerized anaerobic digested operated by local entrepreneurs in cooperation with Masada, run as a local “business in a box”.
Lorlyn Consulting: Frankyln Johnson, Louise Chaytor and Chona Labor, aims to provide waste processing as a utility service, directly funded by service subscribers and three (3) “all weather” waste sorting sheds to filter out recyclables and reusable organic waste for sale to downstream processing enterprises. Their solution is about reforming the Freetown waste management ecosystem by implementing a decentralized yet integrated system.
What are they offering the city and its residents?
- a) An infrastructure programme to reduce the quantity of uncontrolled waste disposal, including nearly 30miles of pavement rehabilitation.
- b) A “Rivers and Waterfronts” beautification project.
c)A collection service that emphasises sorting at source to minimise impact on landfill. Youths currently working at Bommeh will be retrained and moved up the waste disposal ecosystem to facilitate this.
- c) A funding model based on a hypothecated funding model, facilitated by a cadastral payment system.
d)An organisation with dedicated professionals where waste disposal expertise, relationship management and accountability can be developed and nurtured.
e)Sourcing of a new landfill site situated at an “end of use” mining sites
- f) An “Operation Fet Maskita” aimed at removing and monitoring potential mosquito breeding places.
g)A community engagement service facilitated by special interest groups (such as market traders), and elected neighborhood volunteer committees .
- E. S. T Salone
- E. S. T Salone is a possible multi million dollar investment whose solution is the Basalia Pyrolising Process which turns waste into bio diesel. Their aim is to provide electricity for a 100,000 homes. They are proposing a pilot plant to demonstrate this mechanism (Basalia Pyrolising Technology). The team members are Egerton Smith, Paul Schmitz and Willem Tijssen.
What are they offering the city and its residents? B.E.S.T. presents an holistic proposition to attack the garbage/waste problem in Freetown with sophisticated technologies to cleanup existing landfills/dumpsites, and recycle these sources of worry, frustration, pollution and diseases under highest safety standards into innovative products while boosting the local economy with the production of green energy and clean water, and creating employment for youth and women. The approach is based on the PPP principle of: People – Planet – Profit.
Sirra Recycling Industry
Plastic makes up a chunk of our waste and is a major component in the paving tiles manufactured by Sirra Recycling Company which are a mix of melted plastic satchets/bottles and river sand, poured into moulds and allow to set. These are more durable and less costly. They have been tested in Lunsar and have proved that they are suitable for pavements.
Waste Cyclers is a team of four young people: Davephine Tholley, Obinna Browne, Lompri Koroma and Tindae Kamanda. Their proposed solution is data driven and flexible to create a lasting and convenient way for residents to deal with the plastic waste generated. It is a cost effective plastic recycling solution where the recycling machines would be built locally instead of being imported.
What are they offering the city and its residents? We are offering the city a solid waste management system that can effectively handle its solid waste needs. We are offering residents an effective system of collecting and disposing their solid waste in a manner that would be relatively cheap and very convenient for them.
Premier Environ Solutions (SL) Ltd
The rehabilitation and conversion of the Kingtom dumpsite to a sanitary landfill is no easy feat, but Walid Bahsoon of Premier Environ Solutions has the solution. His proposed solution can achieve that with a 15MW/hr waste to energy plant fueled by on site material recovery facilities that will process 400 tons of fresh municipal solid waste and 400 tons of old mined waste and sewage.
What are they offering the city and its residents? Much needed Electricity, upgrading from dumpsite to an engineered landfill with a smaller footprint, reduce smells from dumpsite, have an outlet for waste generated.
Each pitch lasted for 10 minutes with an extra 5 minutes for questions from the judges.
Showcasing their products were upcyclers – Tinap Green. Tinap Green pitched their business in December 2017. Sierra Leone Brewery/ Heineken, the main sponsor of Freetown Pitch Night, has since offered Tinap Green contracts to under work for them. Tinap Green takes unwanted materials and transforms them in new products of better quality. Wood, tyres, fabric, and chairs have been transformed from waste to creative products. The creative director presented the Mayor with a specially designed chair.
The MD of GEN Sierra Leone, Mr. Francis Stevens George thanked the pitchers and the audience. He pointed out that the selection of the pitchers covered the whole value chain of waste management- Waste collection, Waste Recovery, Sorting, Composting, Recycling, Production and Final disposal. Mr. George also thanked the Mayor and the expert panel. He presented them with specially design T-shirts and Umbrella from Mützig (Sierra Leone Brewery/Heineken) the main sponsors of Freetown Pitch Night.
After the event
The Mayor is in the process of inviting the pitchers to her office. As this report is published Her Worship has met with 3 of the 6. The purpose is to delve deep into their ideas with a view to see whether the Freetown City Council is interested in going forward. The Mayor has indicated that that a number of the ideas/concepts will require feasibility studies to confirm their viability and to attract funding.