A Cleaner Year for Egypt – Turning Trash into Cash
One step at a time, one action after another, draws us closer to our goal- A cleaner and healthier environment for us all to thrive. Egypt, especially Cairo, has suffered from littering. We create trash, but we don’t know what to do about them. This is a setback for the beautiful Cairo city.
Despite Cairo’s attractions and warmth, you would not dare to call it a city clean. You will find a lot of trash lying around the city. You can be lucky to make a turn on a street where the trash was just picked up or swept. But then, that’s just luck. Cairo is a beautiful mess, but thankfully, there are people concerned about the trash issue, acting individually and collectively to make Egypt a cleaner place to live.
‘Go Clean’ is a recycling solution company founded by Mohamed Hamdy back in 2017, where it initially helped factories, companies, cafes, and universities to recycle their waste. Back in February 2019, Go Clean begun to pick up trash from households. The service sector in Egypt is incredible. You can sit back at home and order anything you need, so why not call or book a timeslot for the collection of your unwanted items or trash?
Mohamed Hamdy founded Go Clean because he believed that Egyptians are open to solving problems; therefore, they will consider an efficient way to deal with trash- that is, recycling. Mr. Hamdy also believed that by including private homes, the practice of recycling would become more popular. This established the idea behind the door-to-door collection, which has become very useful for households around Cairo.
The process is easy and done quickly. First, you collect your trash or unwanted items and divide them into categories (plastic, paper, and metal). Then you phone or WhatsApp Go Clean. Go Clean comes, weighs, and collects your trash. The last step is rewarding the consumer. You can exchange your trash with cash or household goods or donate via Go Clean. “We usually donate to advanced schools in New Cairo for kids with a disability or autism.” Explained Nancy Moussa, PR manager of Go Clean. You can exchange trash for household items such as antiseptics, hand wash, skin care products, and many other consumer goods.
Companies like Go Clean have inspired a lot of people to recycle, even younger generations like Lara Senna and Anna, who are just 13 years old, students at Cairo American College, spend most of their Friday off from school cleaning up Road 9. “We have divided all the trash into three categories: paper, plastic, and metal, so we can recycle it to Go Clean so that it won’t end up on the streets again.” They try to convince more people to join them in the belief of a cleaner Egypt and to raise focus on the importance and benefit of recycling. “I always tell my classmates at the end of our foreign affairs lessons.” Said Lara. She later explained that she spent many Fridays cleaning different streets in Maadi.
When Go Clean finishes picking up trash, they take them to their own warehouse, where it is divided again, and each item sent to certified factories. “If we continue this way, in the next two or three years, we’d all be able to see the difference on Cairo’s streets compared to today,” said Nancy Moussa. It takes time and effort to collect, separate, and send away the trash. Many of us do it simply for a healthier and cleaner environment. Undoubtedly, more people need to be motivated to recycle, but what are the actual benefits of recycling than just reducing the amount of trash we throw out?
First of all, recycling reduces the risk of pollution, poisoning, and other health problems. Another benefit is that it allows for more emphasis on creating technology to utilize and manage what already existed, therefore, allowing for new start-ups to develop while offering more employment opportunities.
Again, recycling is not all about the work we put into it. Like Go Clean, many companies across the globe give financial incentives and exchange when we recycle. For instance, in Denmark, they have a ‘Return System’ where you pay a small price for every bottle you buy, and when you return the bottle to the returning machines anywhere near a supermarket, you will get the exact money back.
Most importantly, recycling will make you feel better about yourself and your surroundings. The psychological effect of living and breathing in a clean space is profound. And the better we feel about ourselves, the better we will make the people around us feel. Recycling helps to cut the amount of waste that ends up in our oceans. The best commitment to make in the new year is to take an active step towards reducing the amount of waste you create in the first place. Take a second step, call Go Clean to help you recycle.
By: SanjaSkov is a journalism student at the University of the Arts London. She is doing a two months internship at the Center for Arab-West Understanding, Cairo, and is interested in culture, languages, and media publication.
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