Alhassan Baba Muniru's New Entry

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Alhassan Baba Muniru's New Entry: Empowering the Ghanaian Youth to create solutions to local waste problems

kumasi, Ghanakumasi, Ghana
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Improper disposal of waste, in particular plastic waste, severely impedes everyday life in Ghana’s cities, e.g. through clogged drains. Recycle Up! Ghana raises awareness for these environmental issues and trains Senior High School students in two-week long summer camps to become Recycle Up! Ambassa

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if 10 out of 100 senior high school students become social entrepreneurs working on solving Ghana’s urgent problems?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

RUG addresses improper waste disposal. According to UNICEF and WHO, Ghana is among the ten dirtiest countries worldwide . Estimates report that 70% of the 2000 Tonnes of plastic waste daily end up on Ghana’s streets. Blocked drains serve as breeding beds for malaria-transmitting mosquitoes and lead to disastrous flooding in rainy season. The majority of collected plastic is burned on dumpsites posing a threat to humans and nature.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The Recycle Up! Ghana initiative seeks to further increase students’ awareness on environmental issues, to provide a better understanding of the potential adverse effects implied by excessive (plastic) waste pollution and improper disposal of waste. Ultimately, the initiative exists in order to empower the Ghanaian youth to act as Recycle Up! Ambassadors and develop local waste management and recycling solutions for their community. During the summer camp the students develop innovative solutions to local pollution problems they have identified themselves. Following the camp, the students will implement the proposed solutions with the support of experienced team members in their schools - the so-called Recycle Up! Your School projects.


The Davis Projects for Peace foundation awarded a $10.000 grant to Recycle Up! Ghana. [ ]
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

An average Ghanaian student uses about 3 water sachets a day. Given a school size of about 1,500 this adds up to 18,000 Sachets a day or 6.5 Million Sachets a year. So far, our ambassadors collected more than 2 million water sachets (about 3 tonnes), built a prototype to turn plastic into gasoline and set up more than 150 plastic bins across 9 schools and 2 universities. Through workshops, holding speeches at churches, talking to politicians and many more activities we raised awareness in local communities to stop littering and start recycling. The long-term effects will be tremendous!

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

So far, more than 60 RUG ambassadors and 20 team members collected and contributed to the recycling of more than 2 million water sachets (about 3 tonnes), built a prototype to turn plastic into gasoline and set up more than 150 plastic bins across 9 schools and 2 universities. Through workshops in schools and university, holding speeches at churches, talking to politicians and many more activities we raised awareness of more than 9.000 people in local communities to stop littering and start recycling. During the next two years RUG activities will empower at least 150 additional ambassadors, contributing to the collection of more than 10 Tonnes of plastic waste in 20 schools. These activities will help save scarce resources, contribute to better health and sanitation conditions and create employment.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Recycle Up! Ghana is a perfect blueprint to be used by other NGO’s. in order to implement a Recycle Up! [Nigeria/South America] initiative. It is comparable with the successful concept of the “Start Up! Weekend” which are organized every weekend in a dozen of countries by different teams. Our three phase concept “Knowledge, Experience, Solutions” combined with the implementation of follow up projects during “Recycle Up! Your School” creates sustainable impact on the waste situation in local communities.Furthermore, it can be easily implemented by existing NGO’s in any developing country

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Currently, all activities are financed through a diversified fundraising effort in Germany. This mix includes crowd-funding, grants, official sponsors (i.e. Rotary Clubs) as well as institutional support. We plan that in the long-term the latter will finance all activities related to the summer camps.. Follow-up activities, shall be financed through revenues generated by the implemented entrepreneurial solutions.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Many NGO’s care about the environment, i.e. GYEM, GYCC. For us, it’s all about empowering the Youth to become Recycle Up! Ambassadors. They have the responsibility to raise awareness, identify local problems and create a solution for it which let’s them act as a social entrepreneur. What makes RUG different is that our concept is extremely scalable. Our vision is to Recycle Up! The World - we will “franchise” our concept and make it accessible to every NGO. In near future, we will have multiple Recycle Up! Summer Camps spread out all over the world followed by Recycle Up! Your School projects.

Founding Story

I received an email from the Chairman of Technik Ohne Grenzen e.V. about two students who are interested in undertaking a project about waste management in Ghana. Torben Fischer and Manuel Schulze came up with the idea of Recycle Up! Ghana during their time at the UC Berkeley in the autumn of 2013. I already had experience in working with hospital waste incinerators, environmental cleanliness education in some schools and communities and was thrilled by the idea of empowering the Ghanaian Youth to tackle local waste problems. After several series of communication and brainstorming our passion for education and protecting mother Ghana inspired us and we improved the concept and won a $10.000


All members are currently working voluntarily. In future, as the social business side of RUG grows, employees will be hired (mostly in Ghana). Ghanaian Team Members Alhassan Baba Muniru (M.A. Sustainable Development) organized camps in 2014 and 2015. He has incredible strong leadership qualities and is the overall team leader of Recycle Up! Ghana. Sampson Oboh (BSc. in Fishery and Aquatic Science) organized camps in 2014 and 2015. He is a social entrepreneur by heart and manages all the external relations to potential partners, businesses and politicians. Jude Asamoah (BSc in Rural Art) has strong logistical skills and an incredible high level of commitment. In the team he is responsible for Recycle Up! Your School. Kwesi Quagraine (PhD Physics) is an expert in teaching social skills and is responsible for the constant improvement of the content for all workshops and trainings. European Team Members: Torben Fischer (PhD VWL) has a brilliant mind paired with exceptional strong qualities as project manager. He organized camps in 2014/2015 and is currently responsible for fundraising. Tobias Weghorn (M.Sc. Electrical Engineering) organized a camp in 2015. He is responsible for Recruiting and the “on-boarding” process as well as mentoring technical project ideas. Manuel Schulze (M.Sc. VWL, Founder of “hoomn”) organized a camp in 2014. Currently, he is coordinating the european team. Florian Erbesdobler is Head of Treasury at “Technology without borders” and is also managing the finances for Recycle Up! Ghana. Ioana Jivet (M.Sc. Electrical Engineering) is a passionate Coach and thus responsible for improving the camps`content.


kh pura /

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