York Biochemistry graduate Kenneth Cheung is receiving media coverage for his social enterprise, BEEcycle Ltd, and its range of products and services, which make it easier to recycle food waste.
Kenneth founded BEEcycle after graduating from the University of York, where he showed a keen interest in enterprise. The company produces a range of high-tech products to help people compost and recycle food waste, including the OvO—a self-watering plant pot which produces its own compost naturally! BEEcycle also engages businesses and the community through a recycling education programme.
With environmental issues more important than ever, BEEcycle is a promising and exciting new company—Kenneth has been interviewed on BBC Radio, and was a finalist in the Enterprising Young Brits competition—but what sets it apart is its combination of technical knowledge (after graduating from York, Kenneth went on to win a business competition held by Lancaster Environment Centre, where he founded the business with their support) with practical sense. With continued success Cheung has recently won the top prize in the Manchester heat for The Pitch 2009, and will compete for a business support package worth £50 000 in the final round in November. Many people are put off home recycling because they perceive it to be inconvenient and difficult—regardless of whether this is well-founded, it is clear that one way into the home recycling market is through accessibility. Composters which don’t smell or require sorting of waste, and self-watering plant pots may well attract custom from the 70% of households who do not currently recycle. Similarly, the lesson plans and interactive section on BEEcycle’s website make it easy for primary schools and parents to provide children with fun environmental education.
With fears over the fates of community recycling programs in the current economic climate, it is easy to be pessimistic about reducing waste—but as a social enterprise with commercial promise, the future is surely green for BEEcycle.