Catherine Weetman talks to Guglielmo Mazzà, an environmental engineer and social entrepreneur, and the co-founder and CEO of ReFuse, a social enterprise based in Beirut [Lebanon] that offers community-based solid waste management services.
Guglielmo worked in development initiatives and humanitarian response in the field of water, sanitation, hygiene and financial inclusion, across Europe and Africa. His passion is combining equitable access to resources with ecosystem justice and restoration.
ReFuse has a mission to work with underserved communities, enabling them to sort recyclables and get rewarded for it. ReFuse says: “Where most people see a pile of waste, we see opportunities to improve the lives of vulnerable people. Secondary raw-materials have an unexploited value.”
Guglielmo explains some of the issues faced by many people living in Beirut, where approximately one-third of the population are migrants, with many living in temporary tented communities. Poverty, inequality and lack of government funds are big issues, and there is a lack of basic infrastructure, including a reliable electricity supply.
We hear how the ReFuse operation works, how they’ve expanded the range of materials they can recycle, and what they do with it all. We find out what motivates people to bring their recyclables along to the ReFuse stations – surprisingly, for many people, it’s not about the cash.
Podcast host Catherine Weetman is a circular economy business advisor, workshop facilitator, speaker and writer. Her award-winning book: A Circular Economy Handbook: How to Build a More Resilient, Competitive and Sustainable Business includes lots of practical examples and tips on getting started. Catherine founded Rethink Global in 2013, to help businesses use circular, sustainable approaches to build a better business (and a better world).
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Links we mention in the episode:
- A Circular Economy Handbook: How to Build a More Resilient, Competitive and Sustainable Business – buy from any good bookseller, or direct from the publisher Kogan Page, which ships worldwide (free shipping to UK and US) and you can use discount code CIRCL20 to get 20% off. It’s available in paperback, ebook and Kindle. If you buy it from online sources, make sure you choose the new edition with an orange cover!
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- ReFuse on Linkedin ReFuse | LinkedIn
- Instagram ReFuse (@refuse.lebanon) is on Instagram
- Facebook ReFuse – Home – facebook.com
- Website refuse.eco
- Guglielmo Mazza on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/guglielmo-mazzà/
- Nestlé – net plastic neutrality in the Philippines https://www.nestle.com.ph/media/news/maintaining-plastic-neutrality
About Guglielmo Mazzà
Guglielmo Mazzà is an environmental engineer and social entrepreneur. He is the co-founder and CEO of ReFuse, a social enterprise based in Beirut that offers community-based solid waste management services. Guglielmo worked in development initiatives and humanitarian response in the field of water, sanitation, and hygiene and financial inclusion.
Projects implemented reach Italy, Kosovo, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda. As a member of the Green Inclusive and Climate Smart Finance Action Group of the European Microfinance Platform and working with Microfinanza Srl, Guglielmo focused on the development of sustainable microcredit strategies and products for microfinance institutions in Africa and the MENA region.
His passion is combining equitable access to resources with ecosystem justice and restoration.
Want to find out more about the circular economy?
To go deeper, you could buy Catherine’s book, A Circular Economy Handbook: How to Build a More Resilient, Competitive and Sustainable Business. This comprehensive guide uses a bottom-up, practical approach, and includes hundreds of real examples from around the world, to help you really ‘get’ the circular economy. Even better, you’ll be inspired with ideas to make your own business more competitive, resilient and sustainable.
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Thanks to Belinda O’Hooley and Heidi Tidow, otherwise known as the brilliant, inventive and generous folk duo, O’Hooley & Tidow for allowing me to use the instrumentals from the live version of Summat’s Brewin’ as music for the podcast. You can find the whole track (inspired by the Copper Family song “Oh Good Ale”) on their album, also called Summat’s Brewin’. Or, follow them on Twitter.