Innovators Stories

A waste innovator is a person that collects and recycles waste to make a product that is economically viable. Our ICCM recycling network and community links have created several projects that have cleaned the environment while creating income generation to support livelihoods.

Eco Pavement Bricks


Laurent Machila is 17 years old and the first born of 6 siblings. He was raised in an overpopulated township where households dispose waste everywhere. When his father left he was forced to support his family with menial jobs including distilling liquor with his mum so his family could go to school.

Two years ago he went to stay with his aunt since his mother could not afford to support him through secondary school. This was where my uncle and ICCM introduced me to plastic recycling. Together we started to make pavement bricks from plastic waste and sand. With the little income that we make from selling our bricks I have raised enough money to cater for my secondary school fees. Several of his friends from school have expressed interest in the project; they also want to take part in eradicating plastic waste in the community.


Tin can roof tiles

ICCM have linked with a construction project where rooves were being made out of tin cans, we bought tin cans for the price of 80 MKW (8p) per tin can and we needed around 3000 tin cans to complete the roof.

tins collection.jpg

Mtendere Chimaliro, is an economically deprived Malawian woman making a living out of waste collection. From Area 36, Lilongwe, she is a proud mother of two girls and a wife to a waste collector. Their family used to work as security guards for a man until he passed away. At that point they started collecting, cleaning and selling waste from the City Council waste dump very close to their house. The value of the tins was double the usual waste cost so she organised groups of boys to get them from the dump and made links with hotels.

Since ICCM started buying tins her life has really changed for the better. She can afford three meals a day and her daughter enrolled into a technical college using the profit.


The tin cans were painted with red oxide and sewed onto bamboo weaved matts with string made from car tyres. They are fixed on the roof of a rural home made with traditional grass as a layer for protection and waterproofing.

Plastic weaving

We work with our innovators to come up with different design ideas and therefore create more jobs, job satisfaction, cleaner areas and efficiently designed products. Sinoya lives in area 36 and weaves plastic industrial packaging to make incredibly beautiful items.