Inclusive Recycling and CCB: A Pick-It! Snapshot

March 1, 2018

Elizabeth, who works at the Kpone landfill, participates in a Pick-It! Build-It CCB training

In early December, MIT D-Lab provided a Creative Capacity Building (CCB) training in Accra, Ghana for 40 waste pickers participating in Danone’s inclusive recycling project Pick-It!, a five-year initiative which aims to develop a circular economy.  The project, which emerged from the Practical Impact Alliance’s 2016 Inclusive Recycling Working Group, proposes an inclusive recycling system that guarantees environmentally and socially responsible plastic. The Danone Group subsidiary Fan Milk International is leading Pick-It! with the goal of recovering more than 100% by weight of their waste packaging by 2025.

D-Lab’s Inclusive Markets Program worked with the Danone Ecosystem Fund to develop a program model for Pick-It! that includes both D-Lab’s Creative Capacity Building and business co-design methodology. The Pick-It! CCB yielded prototypes for nine projects that could potentially move waste pickers up the value chain and improve their working conditions and livelihoods. D-Lab will return to Accra in early May of 2018 to offer waste pickers a CCB-Business workshop, which will be followed by three additional business co-design workshops.


Here is a glimpse into the five-day Pick-It! CCB workshop:

Waste pickers build a prototype for a plastic chipper that could potentially move informal recyclers up the recycling value chain.


Eric from the Kpone landfill, building a mold for cement blocks that can potentially use plastic shavings as filler.


The Pick-It! CCB was effective at creating cohesion between two very different groups of waste pickers—women who pick waste from the streets of Tema Newtown and men and women who work in the municipal landfill.


Libby McDonald, MIT D-Lab