Noel Nizeyimana is not your typical businessman, what others view as waste, he sees as ‘gold’. He founded GreenCare Rwanda in Huye, aiming to offer sustainable solutions for solid waste management. The company transforms landfills into recycling plants, promoting the circular economy, safeguarding the environment, and generating green employment opportunities for young Rwandans.
Nizeyimana alters waste into packaged fertilisers, branded ‘Grekompost’, and eco-friendly pavers, hence, improving soil fertility and productivity, protecting the environment, and fighting climate change.
Nizeyimana initiated this company with the aim of offering a viable waste management solution in the country. He emphasized that the previous system, which involved collection, transportation, and landfilling, resulted in numerous environmental issues, including water and soil contamination.
“This affected the community, socially, economically and environmentally. So we provide a system of converting these wastes into resources such as the compost converted by degradable waste into organic fertiliser in order to improve the soil fertility and also productivity,” he stated.
In a day, he receives 10 tonnes of waste, which he and his team sort out for improved handling in order to produce high-quality products.
According to him, although there are different regulations based on the sector of waste management, sometimes these policies aren’t adopted or implemented, which hinders the business model from achieving its objective.
Nizeyimana observed that waste sorting is time-consuming. Therefore, he urges the government to provide training on waste sorting at home, review policies, and invest in waste management.
He said though there is a market for packaged organic produce, it is inaccessible, particularly through public markets, adding that entering the market is extremely challenging due to the lack of integration between organic fertiliser policies and the availability, purchasing locations, and procedures for chemical fertilisers.
“This can affect the growth of the business as well as the competitiveness of the product on the public market.”
Nizeyimana’s efforts have earned him recognition and a source of income. In 2021, his company emerged as the winner of the Youth Green Innovation and Investment Awards and received Rwf6 million, and in 2022, he won a grand prize of Rwf25m at the Youth Connekt Awards. This grant was given to him by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Rwanda.
Nizeyimana noted that the money was invested in the business as he was able to purchase better machines to improve the production and quantity of organic fertilisers.
The company also created jobs, he has 25 permanent workers and looks forward to employing more as the company expands with the hopes of creating a positive impact in the community.
“We are in the process of crafting a strong partnership with UNDP to make a big impact on the national and international level since this sector is still new and we would like it to cross borders,” the Nizeyimana said.