The value of waste.

This September two alumni of the London College of Communication (Chris Morley and Rahel Zoller) are travelling to Cairo to improve the quality of paper and products made by the Zabbaleen in Mokattam, Cairo. The trip is in association with the Association for the Protection of the Environment (A.P.E) (link: http://www.ape.org.eg/).

Chris Morley is an alumni of BA (Hons) Graphic & Media Design and The Diploma in Professional Studies, ( 2010-2013) who graduated last summer with a very keen interest in sustainable design and projects with social responsibility built into them. He is currently working as a freelance graphic designer and paper maker and was delighted when LCC was approached to work with an Egyptian social enterprise as a consultant.

The Zabbaleen make paper and other products from the rubbish they collect in Cairo. They have been working as Cairo’s informal rubbish collectors since the 1940s and manage to recycle up to 80% of the waste that they collect. By way of comparison, Western garbage collecting companies only recycle around 20-25% of waste!

The Zabbaleen’s way of life has come under threat in recent years from increased regulation and competition from municipal waste contractors. There is a constant need to innovate to remain competitive and bring income into the community. Chris and Rahel will be running a series of workshops to bring some new ideas and products which will be sold in both local and international markets.

They have set up a micro-site and blog to follow the trip. (link: http://chrismorleydesign.com/cairo-paper). This hopefully marks the beginning of a long-running collaboration between University of the Arts London and A.P.E. If you would be interested in getting involved in the future please get in touch through the website’s contact page. (link: http://chrismorleydesign.com/cairo-paper/contact/)

Rahel studied Ba Book Arts and Design (2009-2012) and is currently working as the book arts technician at LCC whilst also studying for her Masters degree in design education at Goldsmiths.

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