A worn out sole is a business opportunity for someone

Written by
Dr Ayub Macharia

Mr Stephen Kihoro started a home-based recycling facility at Kariobangi. He was brought up in a poor background and surrounding. Everywhere was surrounded with garbage.  He used to visit the vast Dandora dumpsite and saw the plenty of polythene materials disposed there. He considered this as a business opportunity.
Kihoro was employed as a technician at an Indian firm for 8 years but did not feel satisfied. Hence one day he decided to do what his heart liked, invest in solid waste value addition. The source of raw material is the vast dumpsite in his locality.
He got a loan of KES 100,000 from a Microfinance institution and bought a few machines to heat the plastics and compress them to various shapes. Then he gained courage and started a recycling facility at Kariobangi light industries region.
Mr Kihoro collects industrial waste, plastics and electric wire coatings of varying colors. These materials are readily available from the dumpsites. He chopped these into smaller chips, which he stored in sacks for easier storage. These chips could easily fit in his boiler. He heats them up in the boiler and adds some water to make paste. With plastic paste, he is ready to mould end products of diverse shapes and colors.
He uses specially designed metal to develop different shapes of the plastic end products. He then puts the plastic paste between the two pieces of specially designed metal bars and press them to produce different products such as

  1. Washers used for construction in flower farms or roofs to prevent water leakage
  2. Shoe soles
  3. Plates
  4. Cups
  5. Spoons

He has managed to employ many young people directly as his workers and indirectly to collect the plastics and sell them to his factory. Some other people earn a living through marketing Kihoro’s products.
With a millionaire mindset, you can tap into the many opportunities provided by solid waste.
For more information watch Kihoro’s movie on this link

© Ayub Macharia, April 2014


Article Categories:
Millionaire Mindset

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