Innovative approach for e-waste management


Ghana-based start-up AppCyclers has developed a web- and app-based solution for local e-waste management services. They not only offer pick-ups and drop-off points for e-waste, repairs services, and material recovery but also a marketplace and educational campaigns for communities. For this reason, AppCyclers has been chosen as the ISC3 Start-up of the Month for April 2023.

Year of Foundation:


Addresses the following SDGs:

SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), and SDG 13 (Climate Action)

AppCyclers' working space
Agudor K. Agabas (founder) in the storage facility with sorted components for further processing
Repairing services are part of AppCyclers concept

From hackathon idea to real life application

AppCyclers started after Agudor Kwaku Agabas (co-founder & team lead) attended a hackathon in Tamale, Ghana that aimed to bring young individuals together to develop solutions addressing the e-waste menace.

“There I noticed a gap in the e-waste management industry. The majority of e-waste was not properly disposed of: Many people were simply throwing their old electronics in the environment, along our streets, posing a risk not only to the environment but also to human health.”,

 Agabas explains. Since then he wanted to create a company with an IT/web/app-based solution enabling safe disposal of the e-waste and also to create employment opportunities for the community . The start-up started by sensibilisation of the community about the dangers of improper e-waste disposal and the importance of proper e-waste management. They created a strong online presence and used social media to reach out to potential customers and partners. The start-up also participated in several community events and workshops to raise awareness about their services and the importance of proper e-waste management. They established relationships with key stakeholders in the e-waste management sector such as the local scrap delayers and the repair shops. AppCyclers is planing to leverage on these networks to collect data and to expand their online marketplace which is part of their digital e-waste management services. The biggest success of AppCyclers has been securing funding from the Kigali Startup Festival PRIZE Award in 2022, which has enabled them to generate significant revenue and demonstrate the economic benefits of sustainable practices. To date, successful partnerships with international and local organizations have helped them raise awareness about the importance of proper e-waste management, and further strengthening their reputation as leaders in the field.

How does the AppCyclers solution work?

The innovation of AppCyclers is a web and app-based e-waste management system that uses data analysis and community sensitization to ensure proper disposal of e-waste. Their solution enables users to easily identify the closest e-waste drop-off points, request pick-ups, and track the progress of the disposal process. The platform also provides a marketplace that connects buyers and sellers of valuable materials such as copper, aluminium, and PBC boards, providing a more efficient and reliable way to access these materials and creating income-generating opportunities for the community. Beyond that, they also offer repairs and destruction services of data from hard disks, floppy disks etc.

“Our data-driven approach to e-waste management helps us to understand the behaviour of our users and provide them with targeted information and education,”

Agabas stated. According to the AppCyclers co-founder, their innovation has a more sustainable approach than the currently available products in the market because of a holistic approach to e-waste management: They not only focus on safe and efficient disposal of e-waste and material recovery but also on educating people about the importance of proper disposal and reducing their e-waste footprint. The team is planning to add new features that will enable data analysis to identify trends and patterns that can improve the educational and community engagement efforts.

“By promoting proper e-waste disposal, we help to reduce the environmental impact of e-waste and ensure that hazardous materials are not released into the environment. We also promote responsible consumption by encouraging people to make more sustainable choices when it comes to electronics, and we contribute to climate action by reducing the carbon footprint of e-waste disposal,”

Agabas explains. Appcyclers has incorporated SDGs to be aligned with their mission statement and also with the products and services they offer. The start-up uses targeted messaging and educational campaigns to help people understand the connection between e-waste management and sustainable development and to encourage them to make more responsible choices when it comes to electronics by implementing the 3R’s - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Next steps at AppCyclers

The current focus with regard to developing the start-up idea is to build the necessary infrastructure, like more collection and recovery centres and drop-off points, that will allow to collect, store, and process more tonnes of e-waste on a monthly basis, to scale up the operations and expand to other towns in Ghana. The aim is to efficiently enhance their operation and make e-waste collection and safe disposal a norm among the Ghanaian populace. AppCyclers is also looking for capital to invest in new technology and hire more staff to support their growth. They also plan to expand their operations eventually to other countries in West Africa. To achieve this, they are seeking forge partnerships with like-minded organizations and investors who share their vision of creating a cleaner and more sustainable future.

With their innovative approach, AppCyclers who joined the ISC3 Global Start-up Service in February 2022, contributes to SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), and SDG 13 (Climate Action).