Penda was founded in 2014 by PENDA general manager, Marie Nielsen, with a clear purpose in mind; to revolutionise Addis Ababa’s paper recycling industry and showcase the “power of paper”. She wanted to achieve this, and to clean up the streets of Addis, by implementing a so-called “circular economy”.


In practise this means setting up a system for paper waste collection, turning this paper into new recycled paper, and start the production of recycled paper goods, like our “soon-to-come” notebooks for children.


When Penda discovered that millions of Ethiopian school children lack access to affordable notebooks, they began the process of turning waste paper into recycled notebooks.


They are currently in the process of making and installing machines that will produce these books, and will be ready to bring them to market after Christmas. With a capacity of 3,000 notebooks hour, they aim to make schooling more affordable for millions of children and families!


However, in order to grow their collection system further, Penda needs everyone in Addis to recycle. The more paper they can collect, the more they can help clean up the streets of Addis and create more affordable notebooks for Ethiopian children.


But how to  achieve this? How do you get everyone in Addis to recycle their paper waste?


This question kept Penda up at night until they came up with a great solution – Worke. Worke is a new system for waste collection, consisting of 40 bikes with collection trays spread throughout the city (for exact locations see the map).


These bikes allow everyone in Addis to bring their waste paper to a location near their house. It’s all very simple; all you need to do is to keep your paper waste separated from your trash and bring it with you to a nearby Worke bike where you will get a reward of 2 birr per 1 kg delivered; enough money to buy you a small loaf of bread or a lollipop for your sweetheart. If treats are not your thing, you can donate your 2 birr to our Rotaract foundation charity project, which involves donating notebooks to children in need.


So look for the Penda bright yellow collection bikes on the streets of Addis from the 27th of October. Why not start recycling your paper today and join our #WorkeChallenge?


To find out more find us on Facebook (Penda Paper Recyling), Telegram (@pendapaperrecycling) and Instagram (pendapaper_recyling)