Photo courtesy of Go Clean
Founded in 2017 by Mohammed Hamdy, an AUC alumnus whose love for the sea drove him to start a recycling business, Go Clean has been providing recycling service for B2B clients, such as companies, cafés and factories for two years. In February, they launched household services that quickly took the internet by storm, as social media users have been posting their recycled waste piles and encouraging their followers to do so as well. At this point, we all know at least someone who is using the service and is more than happy with it.
The secret behind Go Clean’s quick success is that clients are offered something in return for their recyclables. The company has marketed itself as a way to increase one’s income; where all you have to do is separate your plastic, paper and metal recyclables. Then, you contact them to pick up your items whenever you are free. Your recyclables are weighed and you get to choose whether you want cash in return, make a donation or swap for household cleaning products.
Go Clean bins make the separation process easier for the consumers, also using biodegradable plastic bags for each type of recyclables.
All items are then sent to certified factories to be recycled. Paper is deinked and turned into lesser quality paper or cardboard. Cans are melted and turned back to aluminum. As for plastic, it is broken down and turned to polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or polypropylene.
Go Clean founder Hamdy believes that consumers’ buying and waste habits in Egypt are on the right track. “People are so encouraged to help our environment by recycling and are really so supportive of our initiative as we get so many daily orders from householders, universities, schools, cafes, restaurants, factories, and more,” he says, adding, “so many companies and huge entities contact us to help them go clean and green. We also get many volunteers who are willing to help us in any activity just to help save their environment and country. People share and report our content to spread the word and allow everyone to know about Go Clean. Finally, we receive so many motivational messages that really help and leave us wanting to achieve more and more.”
Concerning where Egypt’s waste-free and up-cycling industries stand today, Hamdy says, “Egypt has been struggling with waste disposal problem for years. But we think that Egypt is trying to take actual steps towards recycling and towards a cleaner Egypt.” He notes that the Environment Minister Yasmine Fouad has expressed the government’s aim to recycle 80 percent of garbage within seven years, and that Egyptian MP Anisa Hassouna submitted a proposal to the Egyptian Cabinet in June to ban single-use plastic bags. “So hopefully, we can watch the results come in soon!” Hamdy says.
The Go Clean founder also shared with us some tips on how to minimize waste. “You can avoid buying frozen foods because their packaging is mostly plastic; even those that appear to be in cardboard are coated in a thin layer of plastic, Hamdy says, advising to always choose cardboard over plastic bottles and bags and to opt out of using plastic straws. “Simple choices can greatly impact our environment,” he says.
Speaking on where Egypt’s waste-free and up-cycling industries stand today, Hamed says, “Egypt has been struggling with a waste disposal problem for years. But we think that Egypt is trying to take actual steps towards recycling and towards a cleaner Egypt, as the Environment Minister Yassmin Fouad stressed that her ministry seeks to recycle 80 percent of garbage within seven years. Also, Egyptian MP Anisa Hassouna has submitted a proposal to ban single-use plastic bags to the Cabinet of Egypt, along with the Ministry of Foreign Trade, Minister of Environment and Industry, on Monday 10 June. So hopefully we can watch the results come in soon!”
Discussing consumer’s buying and waste habits, we ask Hamed believes we are we on the right track. “As people are so encouraged to help our environment by recycling and they are really so supportive to our initiative as we get so many orders daily from householders, universities, schools, cafes, restaurants, and factories. A lot of people support our work, which keeps us driven to achieve more and more.”
Expansion is the Go Clean founder’s goal, and he seeks to eventually reach anyone and everyone. “We are now covering Cairo, Giza and Alexandria and more governorates are definitely in our future plan… We are also designing a Go Clean application to make everything easier and faster for our clients,” Hamed says.
GoClean operates all over Alexandria. In Cairo they pick up from Heliopolis, Ain Shams, Sheraton, Nasr City, Gisr El-Suez, Moqattam, Abassia, New Cairo, Sherouk, Madinaty, Sixth of October Sheikh Zayed, Haram, Maadi, Zamalek, Mohandessin, Dokki, Dontown, Manyal, Shobra and Maahad Nasser.
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