APQ

When: 12.2010 to 02.2011
Who: Agon Nixha, Adnan Hoxha, Ryan Raplee, Joshua Resnik, Corey Mack
Where: Pristina, Kosovo
Status: Project Complete

Background

Agon Nixha and Adnan Hoxha created the idea for APQ which is a private trash recycling company in Kosovo.
This is one of two projects I was assigned when I went on a trip to Kosovo. The trip was a part of a pilot program at American University in Kosovo, which is one of RIT’s satellite campuses. I worked with RIT students Ryan Raplee and Joshua Resnick. My responsibilities were to over branding and the business plan. Josh covered the technology. Ryan created a website and developed and entry strategy.

Problem

In cities and rural parts of Kosovo, littering is abundant. Thought there are existing garbage collecting services and landfills, there is no infrastructure or government incentives to collect recyclable material and reuse it. The group originally envisioned renting time in existing garbage trucks to collect large dumpsters full of recyclable material.

Solution

We decided that the APQ team should start out small before working their way up to renting time on trucks. The idea was to create manned kiosks that would collect aluminum, plastic, and glass and give those who deposit them a price that was below scrap value. Due to low labor costs, automated kiosks were not economically feasible.We deemed that this was the best course of action since container deposits currently don’t exist in Kosovo, recycling is not park of the culture, and it would significantly de-risk the company from a financial standpoint. If this initial incentive model proved successful, the idea would be add a few more of these kiosks across Pristina. The recyclable material would have to be sorted by hand and would initially be shipped un-compacted. APQ would also have to outsource shipping of the material to a third party as buying or leasing trucks would hurt¬†profitability¬† The APQ team identified a few recyclers in Italy as their likely customers so there scrap material would be shipped there. As Kosovo is a landlocked country, APQ would have to use an existing agreement with Albania to use their ports for export.