It is possible to treat waste at the source and also make it reusable for agricultural purposes. The trick is using specialized bacteria, whose metabolic activities can convert simpler chemicals into valuable products through a microbial growth process.
The use of microbes to recycle waste is what a Kenyan based company, Ecosave Africa, is implementing. Founded in 2006, Ecosave Africa is providing waste management services to customers across various scales. From the manufacturing of Eco-treat waste digester and Odourex urinal balls to water desalinization, the company aims to give nature a fighting chance.
In an interview with the founder Daniel Wanjuki, he says there is no better way to conserve the environment than to explore a phenomenon that has the potential of eliminating environmental waste while producing other essential resources. With that in mind, he founded Ecosave Africa to address the waste management problem, especially in the water sector.
“What inspired our idea was the fact that biology is likely to succeed where humans have so far failed in tantalizing. As an environmental expert and consultant, I identified this gap and saw the need to adapt the microbial method for reuse of wastewater,” says Daniel.
The company manufactures a micro-organism product known as Eco-treat waste digester. The product breaks down organic waste including fats, grease, carbohydrates and proteins, into a by-product that is predominantly water and nutrients.
“Eco-treat is developed to be effective in the most efficient way. It is very affordable, does not generate methane gas hence safe for use and disposal in the environment. The product can be used in septic tanks, pit latrines, slaughterhouses, lagoons and municipal wastewater treatment,” he adds.
With the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), having approved the use of Eco-treat for domestic, industrial and commercial water treatment, Daniel could not resist echoing its numerous benefits.
“This product takes into consideration the fundamental right of a clean and safe environment. Eco-treat is 100% organic with no chemicals used during its production, reduces odour most effectively to an almost zero level and the by-product that is usually water can be absorbed into the soil, thus eliminating the need to exhaust,” explains Daniel.
Apart from manufacturing Eco-treat digesters, the company also recently introduced a new product known as Odourex. The product can be used as an alternative to mothballs in urinal pits and in wastewater pathways to reduce the smell.
“Due to the numerous side effects of mothballs, we as environmental consultants focusing on the non-chemical treatment of waste decided to manufacture a non-pollutant urinal ball that is not sublime. Unlike mothballs which consist of naphthalene, we believe this new product will reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” says Daniel.
The new urinal balls have the potential of absorbing urine content and detoxify the urine before release. It is also 100% recyclable and can be recharged.
With the concept of the circular economy rapidly capturing attention as a way of decoupling growth from resource constraints, Ecosave Africa was inspired to also offer clients solutions to an ever-changing environment. The company has various services that they offer, from the design and construction of modern septic tanks to environmental and evaluation compliance and water desalinization products.
Having partnered with Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) under the GreenBiz Programme, Ecosave Africa has received mentorship, which has greatly impacted the company. So far, the company has managed to streamline its operations, design a website and adopt proper waste management systems by acquiring an enterprise resource programme known as wave.