A fairer deal for waste pickers

How we’re trialling a digital approach to eliminate fraud and exploitation of low income waste collectors in the global south

Anibal’s story

Examples of different types of plastic. PET shows plastic soft drinks bottles. HDPE shows empty bottles of household cleaning products. PP shows yoghurt pots and other plastic products.
Plastic types commonly collected by waste pickers in countries where Unwaste operates. Image: Unwaste,io

Plastic pollution in Mozambique’s urban neighbourhoods

A map showing part of the African continent including Mozambique. A line points from the map to a larger scale map, showing the area around the city of Maputo. Marracuene sits along the coast to the North East of Maputo.
Location map of Marracuene in relation to Maputo. Source: worldatlas.com/JICR
Two old skips, overflowing with waste. The ground around them is covered in waste including many plastic items.
Municipal waste containers in Intaka 1 Bairro, Maputo. Image: Unwaste.io

The life of a part-time waste picker

A dirt yard with waste sorted and piled in one corner. To the front of the yard is a netted off plot where green vegetables are growing.
Anibal’s front yard showing plastic piled to the left and vegetables growing to the right. Source: Unwaste.io
An image taken from a satellite showing a large rough area of land surrounded by many small buildings in a city.
Hulene municipal landfill site as shown on Google satellite. Image: Google Maps

Wastebase DEAL, a transaction platform for waste

Testing our approach with waste pickers

Two men standing next to five people who are seated and listening to them.
Unwaste’s Danilson and Deonísio from AMOR speaking to waste pickers near the Hulene landfill site. Image: Unwaste.io
A man stands in front of four people who are sitting in chairs outside a small breezeblock house with a rough corrugated iron verandah. The standing man is speaking and pointing to a display board.
Deoniso from AMOR training Anibal and his family to use Wastebase DEAL. Image: Unwaste.io

Getting a better deal

A smartphone screen showing text boxes and icons in Portuguese. An example buy offer from the Wastebase DEAL app showing quantities request and price per kilogram. Wastebase DEAL uses local terms that we know our buyers and sellers actually use. This view is in Portuguese as a user in Mozambique would see it.
An example ‘buy’ offer on Wastebase DEAL. Image: Unwaste.io
Six photographs of waste collected into piles in an outside yard. Two photos show plastic bottles bagged in nets. Other photos show bottles collected in a large pile, cardboard flattened and folded, and other materials sorted by type.
Photos of Anibal’s waste sorted for collection. Image: Unwaste.io

The importance of logistics in developing world recycling

A flatbed truck with a metal structure attached to the back. Netting around the sides of this cage prevent waste from falling out. The truck is in front of a landfill site with bags of waste behind it. A man stands in the back of the truck.
A typical waste collection truck in Maputo. Image: Unwaste.io

Delivering the waste

Was it worth it?

A pile of large bags or nets full of plastic waste.
Bundled plastic waiting for collection from a waste aggregator at Hulene municipal waste site in Maputo. Image: Unwaste.io

Why security of transaction is important

Get in touch



Unwaste.io aims to create a cloud platform to connect everyone who can help reduce plastic waste entering our planet’s environment.

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Unwaste.io aims to create a cloud platform to connect everyone who can help reduce plastic waste entering our planet’s environment.