Biffa 'smashes' WasteAid fundraising target

Biffa and WasteAid launched a three-year partnership this spring, to increase waste awareness, knowledge and empowerment among communities in developing countries where waste management is needed. Worldwide, 1 in 4 people have never had their rubbish collected and 1 in 3 do not have safe waste disposal. Biffa is providing core funding to help WasteAid tackle the devastating impacts of unmanaged waste, from air pollution to flooding and the spread of disease. When the partnership was launched in April Biffa CEO Michael Topham commented, “We are proud to support WasteAid and share our expertise in parts of the world that urgently need to tackle the complex issue of how to manage waste in a sustainable manner. Our financial and technical support will help WasteAid to expand its operations, providing more communities with much needed help as they seek to develop sustainable waste management practices.”

Since May, WasteAid has been running a fundraising appeal to train young unemployed people in Cameroon to stop ocean plastic pollution. Inspired by the initiative, Biffa employees vowed to raise an additional £10,000 through internal fundraising events. No one could have imagined the results achieved.

Over the past few months, Biffa staff nationwide have been hosting and participating in quiz nights, bake sales, fun days and as well as demanding physical challenges - IRONMAN, Race to the Stones, fifteen-mile walks and more. Together, Biffa staff have not only matched the original £10,000 target but tripled it! As of 31st July, we have raised an incredible £33,900.15 for our official charity partner. Since the WasteAid appeal benefitted from UK Aid Match, all donations from individuals will be matched by the government. This initiative, combined with the generosity of Biffa staff, could make our first donation to WasteAid in the region of £60,000! Once the government and WasteAid have verified all of the contributions, we'll be able to confirm the final amount. WasteAid's Zoë Lenkiewicz said: "Biffa employees have been overwhelmingly supportive of the WasteAid campaign to stop plastic pollution in the east Atlantic Ocean. This money will be enough to train 90 unemployed young people in the coastal city of Douala in Cameroon to recycle waste plastic into useful products and prevent more than 200 tonnes of plastic reaching the ocean every year." "This is the beginning of our partnership with Biffa, and we are heartened by your collective commitment and enthusiasm to tackling these bigger issues, like 1 in 3 people not having a waste management service. This level of support for WasteAid's work is unprecedented and is, I believe, a big first for the UK waste management sector." In addition to training these young people in recycling, the 3 million residents of Douala will benefit from:

  • Clearer drainage channels and riverbeds

  • A reduction in the spread of water-borne and mosquito-borne diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera and malaria

  • Improved air quality and improved nutrition

These are life-changing advantages, but our efforts won't stop here. Biffa is committed to supporting the vital work of WasteAid throughout our partnership and will continue to promote and encourage donations. While we won't be able to get UK Aid Match support, we will be able to carry on fundraising, thinking of creative ideas to raise money and have a positive impact across the globe.

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