Collins Apuoyo

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2008
Enterprise Professional Services Program (EPS Program)


This profile was prepared when Collins Apuoyo was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2008.
The New Idea
One of the most intractable environmental challenges Kenya faces stems from used oil dumping. From large oil companies to small-scale mechanics, polluters take advantage of weak laws to dump used oil in environmentally sensitive areas with no consequence. Through his credit for safe collection of used oil program, Collins proposes a proactive solution which essentially transforms polluters from irresponsible dumpers to protectors of the environment.

Collins has developed a system to guarantee safe collection, storage and reuse of used oil. His program is built on an incentive scheme that initially targets thousands of small-scale mechanics operating in slums in Kenya to participate in his oil-for-credit program. This program collects liters of oil in exchange for cash rewards or loans which mechanics can then use to improve their businesses. These oil banks then feed into a central collection point from which companies that depend on used oil for production can purchase it.

By seizing the opportunity to turn an income from safely collecting used oil, the program has quickly spread throughout informal settlements in slum populations, turning what was once a hazard into a vehicle for economical development and environmental protection.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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