Ecorich Solutions – Turning waste into food

18.03.2024 - African start-up Ecorich Solutions uses an innovative technology called “the Wastebot decomposer machine” to convert organic waste into organic fertilizer. The process involves the breakdown of organic waste using soil based microbial enzymes under a temperature regulated mechanism.

Their goal is to minimise the environmental pollution caused by greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the decomposition of waste in landfill sites, and to support local farmers and women in the informal waste management sector. For these reasons, Ecorich Solutions has been chosen as one of the ISC3 Innovation Challenge 2023 finalists, and is featured as the ISC3 Start-up of the Month for March 2024.

The technology developed by Ecorich decomposes food waste and thus reduces the number of landfills that release toxic gases into the atmosphere. Up to now, the start-up has reduced urban waste by 40% by collecting kitchen waste from households.

In the food recycling process, the waste is processed in one of two ways: by aerobic or anaerobic digestion. The former consists of microbes breaking down the organic matter under heat and in presence of fresh air. One of the solutions completes one in as little as 24 hours and breaks down 95% of the waste input. The anaerobic digestion works in an oxygen-free environment and produces methane, which is captured in a controlled containment designed with activated box, that absorbs the gas preventing it from being emitted to the atmosphere. All machines used allow for an odour- and pest-free recycling process and come in different ranges of food waste capacity, catering to the size and model of the business it is used for.

Ecorich sells their organic fertilizer currently to mainly small-scale farmers at 70% cheaper price than synthetic fertilizers. As a result, the number of small-scale farmers who can now afford the fertiliser has risen from 15% to 60%, increasing their production and income by 32%. The start-up has set up organic waste collection centres in informal urban settlements where they employ and partner with the community women and youth in the waste collection and recycling process. A dedicated team visiting farmers also play a key role in delivering fertiliser. Ecorich also has carried out awareness campaigns and collaborated with local agricultural organizations, NGOs and government agencies to reach out to farmers promoting the benefits of their solutions. Furthermore, they have established partnerships with local educational institutions to offer internships and training programs.  

The whole success story of the ISC3 Start-up of the Month in March 2024 is currently told by the ISC3 on its website at Start-up Ecorich Solutions ( 

Three questions for Joyce Rugano (CEO/Founder/ Managing director of Ecorich Solutions):

What led to your solution in Sustainable Chemistry?

Joyce Rugano: We met in an event and got to share our ideas together that seemed to relate and lead to the same goal. We sat down and drafted our roadmap. That’s how Ecorich was born. The team then identified one of the biggest challenges in waste management as the disposal of food waste in landfill, which produces methane, a major contributor to global warming. They also realised that recycling alone was not enough and that the valuable minerals in the waste should be returned to the soil to be used as organic fertilizer. Reducing this waste has always been a complex and costly process, so the team behind today's Ecorich Solutions came up with a viable solution that led to the creation of the start-up.

What does being chosen as ISC3 Start-up of the Month mean to you?

J. Rugano: It has always been a dream for Ecorich to be published on a world-based platform. Indeed, it is a dream that has finally come to reality to showcase our innovation even globally. To be chosen as the ISC3 start-up of the month is a great achievement that shows the company’s efforts are bearing good valuable fruits for growth, expansion, and recognition.

We humbly believe that this is just the beginning of great things to come in the near future, and ISC3 offering the stage for us to show how great our innovation can solve humanity´s problems is a motivation that we should continue changing lives in our community.

We proudly know that being chosen as the start-up of the month will offer more opportunities and make Ecorich gain more traction for investment.

What’s next up at Ecorich?

J. Rugano: Our 1-year growth strategy includes converting our Wastebot from electrical energy to solar energy and increasing the capacity from 50 kg to 500 kg. We have also planned the construction of four more organic waste recycling centers and want to develop a dashboard for nutrient analysis and an application to advise on the quality of organic fertilizer. Other goals are to expand our waste collection from Nairobi to other cities in Kenya and East Africa and to add a financial accountant and an agronomist to our team. Essentially, we want to focus on marketing our innovations and opening up new markets with our organic fertilizer. Finally, we also want to integrate more young people and women into the organic waste management cycle in order to create jobs and improve living conditions.




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