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Recycling guru: I transform your landscape one waste tyre a time

By Esther Dianah | April 4th 2021

Hillary Goodluck, 32, has not been lucky in securing a job despite having graduated from the Technical University of Mombasa with a degree in Community Development and Counseling Psychology. But thanks to his creative mind, he discovered a niche in landscaping.

Starting his upcycling business in 2015, Hillary transforms waste tyres into eye-catching landscaping materials. He alters the terrain and gives it a colourful and lively outlook.

He started recycling waste materials like polythene papers, old car tyres and plastic bottles.

His debut into landscaping and recycled design dates back to 2015 where he had a chance to showcase his craft at the KICC during an innovation conference.

“The innovation conference was sort of a competition, I presented a doll I had made from polythene paper, I won and had the chance to compete on the East African level in Burundi. I interacted with other people while in Burundi and learned a lot,” he said.

This was years after ‘tarmacking’ on the streets trying to secure a job in vain.

“From Burundi, I came back having broadened my skills and then started my craft officially in 2015.”

Hillary says he has expanded his craft from landscaping, “I use tyres to make poufs, flower vessels,  seats and landscaping.”

Other raw materials include old fabrics, which he uses to make shoes, bags, earrings, bangles and wall decor. He uses wine bottles to make flower vessels for indoor decor. Hillary says that the craft is not hard and is relatively cheap because no machinery is required to get it done.

“It is to my advantage that people carelessly dump old tyres, I go out to find them, it is cost-effective,” he says.

For him, challenges are inevitable, as people have not adapted the new look that requires alteration of the terrain. He says people are more into the natural look thus his clienteles’ demand is low because not many appreciate his craft.

He says that it breaks his heart how customers always want the lowest prices for labour or services.

“My raw materials are cheap, but I invest a certain amount on them. I invest my time and energy. I deserve a decent pay  but clients always have a narrative of how much it should cost and why.”

Hillary explains the process of landscaping, with leveling the terrain as the primary stage for outdoor landscaping. He says using old tyres in landscaping has an advantage as it prevents soil erosion. The tyres are used to install flower vessels. They are then arranged depending on the design of the vessel. “We paint them in different colours depending on the client’s preference.”

Hillary says his prices vary greatly, depending on the size of terrain he is working on, the number of tyres he is going to use. Also the paint is an added cost, calculated with the labour, he is the able to determine the prices.

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