Following the winners in Guwahati and Ho Chi Minh City being announced this week, the final round of the Zero Waste Cities Challenge in Johannesburg, South Africa, took place today. The finals round of the Challenge saw five finalists pitch their innovative circular economy business models to a panel of esteemed judges.

The finalists have participated in an eight-week business mentoring programme to develop and refine their concepts. The judges had the difficult task of choosing two winners, who will be awarded €10,000 seed funding and further business support to bring their ideas to life.

The winners of WasteAid’s Zero Waste Cities Challenge in Johannesburg are…



BoombaDotMobi collects organic waste from its paying customers and the wider community to transform it into compost. This is achieved through black soldier fly composting, vermicomposting and heat composting. The team then sells the quality compost product back to local farmers and their community.


Bokashi Bran

Bokashi Bran has a vision to produce the highest quality bokashi to divert food waste from landfill sites. Bokashi is a composting technique that enables all types of food waste to be returned back to the natural environment. Using the bokashi system saves landfill space and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 98%.

Bokashi Bran

Following the announcement, WasteAid CEO, Ceris Turner-Bailes said: “Food waste is one of the biggest environmental challenges faced worldwide. With more than half the global population living in cities, it is increasingly important that we develop systems for returning nutrients to the ground to enable sustainable food production.

“The two winners of the Zero Waste Cities Challenge in Johannesburg are doing just that, providing excellent systems for managing food waste to reduce methane emissions, keep cities clean, and preserve soil quality for future generations. BoombaDotMobi are collecting food waste and converting it to compost, while Bokashi Bran is a vital ingredient for speeding up the composting process, creating a more efficient circular economy.

“Choosing two winners from five excellent finalists was no easy task, and I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the participants, who between them pitched a superb range of waste collection and recycling concepts. I’d also like to express our gratitude to the panel of judges for giving their time and expertise so generously, and of course to our project funder Huhtamaki, that has sponsored WasteAid’s Circular Economy Network in South Africa, India and Vietnam.”

The judges for the Johannesburg round of the Zero Waste Cities Challenge were:

Douw Steyn, Director of Sustainability, Plastics Federation of SA

Anele Sololo, Chairperson, National Recycling Forum

Ntokozo Majola, Executive Manager, Seda 

Camilo Ramada, Senior Advisor, Business Finland

What’s next

In addition to Johannesburg, winners were announced this week in Guwahati and Ho Chi Minh City.

The winners in all three cities will soon be receiving their seed funding and business support, and we will be sharing updates over the coming months.

Be sure to visit our dedicated website and follow the social accounts on Twitter: @circeconnetwork and LinkedIn: WasteAid’s Circular Economy Network for the latest updates.

More projects

Subscribe to our newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

By signing up, you consent to your personal data being saved in line with our privacy policy.

Thank you, you're subscribed