Social enterprise boosts recycling in Lagos

Nigerian social enterprise Wecyclers, devoted to incentivizing residents of the poorest areas in Lagos to recycle their domestic waste, has the potential to create 500,000 jobs in Nigeria, according to its founder. It is also leads to rewards for residents who recycle.

The initiative employs waste collectors who peddle special bicycles through neighborhoods, picking up recyclable materials from subscribers, who earn points based on the weight of their trash. The points can be traded for rewards, such as blenders.

Bilikiss Adebeyi, Wecyclers founder and CEO, and a recent laureate for the Cartier Woman Initiative Award, spoke to The Africa Report about waste problems in Lagos.

She said: “along with unemployment and infrastructure it’s [among] the biggest challenges the city faces. But I must say that government is really doing an awesome job. I’m a mum, and I’m wired to give people credit. They have been incredibly supportive to us. They gave us an opportunity when we were just a team of students. They want to change things”.

In terms of users she explained: “We see a lot of kids getting excited about us in the beginning. We drive through the neighbourhoods on Saturdays with music playing – usually the song “Iyanga” which translates to “your waste”- to raise awareness. The kids usually find the task of collecting the recyclable goods fun, but then they get bored of it. But by then their mothers might have picked up our leaflet and seen the incentives, and so they continue.”

Read full story in The Africa Report.

Image via wikimedia commons.

 

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