Mike Webster is stepping down as chief executive of UK-based WasteAid more than five years after establishing the charity with the support of the annual RWM trade show.
The organisers gave Webster and his small team a grant of £15 000 (EUR 16 700) which he says was crucial in allowing work in Africa to get underway.
The charity now supports projects in west, central and east Africa as well as delivering training and support in south Asia and the south Pacific. Typical activity includes training local people to turn waste materials into valuable secondary products such as paving tiles made from plastic scrap.
Another scheme uses charcoal briquettes from organic waste such as dried leaves, coconut shell and groundnut shell to make an inexpensive cooking fuel that does not involve cutting down trees.
Webster says he is ‘immensely proud’ of what has been achieved. ‘When we registered the charity at the beginning of 2015, we were three trustees with an idea but unsure how to get there. The organisation is growing fast, with employees and associates dotted throughout the UK, Europe, Africa, and Australia,’ he says. ‘Things are in good hands and I am confident that WasteAid is here for good and will be doing good for many years to come.’
A new chief executive, to be named shortly, will be tasked with increasing the scale of the charity’s operation. Webster is planning to take his experience to a project in Asia that also combines waste collection and recycling, but on a larger scale.
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