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Meet Yvonne Wanjiku, a young lady with a great vision on environmental conservancy and entrepreneurship. At her age, she along with another young man, Patrick Njoroge, are the directors of 'Below Zero Waste Ltd', a waste management solutions company, whose headquarters are based in Nairobi.

Out their passion to saving the environment and their love for community service, Yvonne and Patrick started this initiative when they realized that all their playgrounds were slowly being turned into dumpsites. This not only left no room for kids to play but also turned these facilities into filthy sites. 

The group was also concerned that their residence too was eventually becoming a health hazard, a disaster in waiting. Kids who played on these makeshift garbage sites either ended up being hurt by sharp objects dumped there or contracted diseases from the dirt. Their homes also ended up being host to houseflies and other harmful animals such as rodents and snakes.

The fact that noone bothered to take action other just complain of the former City Council of Nairobi's negligence, angered her into taking action.

That is when the idea of Below Zero waste was born. The two started by sensitising people on the importance of keeping their environment clean. They would go from door to door talking to them on the dangers of living near garbage sites and the impact of garbage on global warming.

Eventually, they started collecting garbage in Kasarani Area of Nairobi for a fee. They later added landscaping gardening and cleaning services to their clients just to ensure that their residence were both clean and attractive. 

The garbage they collect is usually separated for better and environmentally safe disposal. Every month, Below Zero Waste Ltd. issues eight printed garbage plastic bags to each of their clients, four black ones and four green ones. 

The green plastic bags are meant for throwing in recyclable materials such as plastics, metals and glass. 
The other black bags are for non-recyclable waste that decompose such as food wastes. In this way, this firm helps the people to learn how to reduce, re-use and recycle household wastes. This also reduces the burden of sorting out these waste for proper disposal.

Their company has already taken over Kasarani area as the lead garbage collecting agents and are slowly penetrating neighbouring estates in great speed. Their fees are reasonable and they always guarantee quality services to all their clients in line with their slogan 'Clean Up and Green up'.

Currently, the group has managed to directly employ four youth though there are several others who benefit from their efforts indirectly. Their vision is to end up being the biggest waste management company in Eastern Africa region, creating a safe and clean human habitat in the region as well as creating employment to thousands of jobless youth in Kenya and beyond.

All has not been so rosy for this young company though, a factor that has been slowing their growth to a point of almost quashing their dreams. Their main challenge has always been that of transport. Hiring private trucks to ferry the waste to designated dumpsites is quite expensive. This forces this company to rely on the Nairobi County Government's trucks which are quite few and unreliable. Currently, one truck is assigned to each ward.

The other major challenge that is dwarfing their efforts is that of finances. The group has to make do with the little amount they receive as fees from their clients, which is barely enough. Thus, they are appealing to the government, through the UWEZO and YOUTH FUNDS, Nairobi County Government and any other financial institution to come to their aid.

In future, they plan to acquire a piece of land where they can start a waste recycling plant and create platform for environmental conservation. The group is willing to reach as many people as possible in order to sensitize them about going green and conserving our environment.

Their advice to the youth? Opportunities are all around you. You only need to open your eyes and think outside the box. For those willing to start the garbage business, the message is simple..... It is not easy as ABC.. It goes beyond just collecting garbage and charging fees for it. It calls for passion, demands being strategic, great patience, hard work and commitment. Above all, they conclude by saying that with God on your side anyone can make it. 

It is the high time the society greened up and cleaned up in order to reduce global warming.

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