Climate Action: Changing Hearts and Minds through Reusing Materials

August 11, 2022
UNDP Yemen Tahani

Tanay Al-Aswaodi , during working in her Rescrap website.

UNDP Yemen / 2022

Tahany Alswoidy, a 25 year old Computer and Control Engineer and Web Developer is the founder of the successful Rescrap – an online platform that enables users to exchange, sell, or give away used goods. To improve the culture of recycling in Yemen, Tahany is working to make Rescrap Yemenis first destination for online purchasing.  


As climate change increasingly threatens the environment, many countries are taking initiatives to curb the amount of waste produced. Globally, many people have been spurred into action, limiting their carbon footprint by recycling, reusing, and repurposing items. In Yemen, however, the culture of recycling and repurposing is not yet optimal, but Tahany wants to change that with her Rescrap project.


Birthing an idea through necessity

The origin of Rescrap came about when one of her now team members wanted to dispose of batteries for a solar power system that she no longer used. Knowing of their environmental hazard, it was important they were disposed of responsibly. Additionally, as the batteries were still useable, the team member didn’t want the batteries to go to waste. As the only viable option was to dispose of the batteries, Tahany’s attention turned to the issue of disposability in her community. She was intrigued by the salvageability of an item and how many people potentially faced with the same issue, and what a positive impact being able to reuse items like the batteries would have on the environment. The answer became obvious to Tahany whom – equipped with her skills as a web developer and computer engineer – devised the idea of Rescrap.

The opportunity to have such an impact on the community and environment would not be wasted. Tahany was one of the YLP6 participants funded by UNDP Yemen. During her programme, she was exposed to the importance of the environment and climate change, moreover, she was equipped with the necessary tools to start working on her innovative idea. Tahany was later chosen for the Women Innovators Programme that supported women’s start-ups based in the Arab region who use technological solutions to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Yemen suffers from massive amounts of uncollected waste, most of which is valuable to others who can stand to benefit from it. Rescrap facilitates the process of exchanging waste by offering a place where people can put depsit waste for money and others can buy it to make money from it,” says Tahani.  “The main motivation comes from the deep belief in the importance of Rescrap’s goals in keeping the environment clean using technology.”

Raising Climate Awareness

It was quite difficult to estimate how successful the project would be given Yemen’s cultural practices. Reselling and reuse are not common practices in Yemen, and the idea behind the project might seem foreign to many potential users. But Tahany knows the benefits outweigh the challenges. She and her team hope that the project will raise awareness toward climate change. Tahany says, “In my opinion, I think that knowledge is the key in any kind of change, so people should be aware of the climate change and its effects on their life. Moreover, tools and systems that help in mitigating climate change need to be available.”