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July Free Report: [Wealth Creation from Waste Generation in Nigeria]

by Obadare Adenekan | 01-09-2023 04:04 recommendations 0

Wealth Creation from Waste Generation in Nigeria

Nigeria is a country with a population of over 200 million people, and a huge consumer market. However, the country also faces serious challenges in managing its waste, which poses environmental, social and economic problems. According to the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, Nigeria generates about 32 million tonnes of solid waste annually, out of which only 20-30% is collected and properly disposed of. The rest ends up in landfills, dumpsites, water bodies or on the streets, causing pollution, flooding, health hazards and loss of resources.

However, some entrepreneurs and innovators are turning this challenge into an opportunity by recycling waste into wealth. They are using various materials such as plastic, metal, paper, tyres, organic waste and more to create new products, generate energy and provide employment. These "wastepreneurs" are not only contributing to environmental sustainability, but also to economic development and social empowerment.

Some examples of waste recycling businesses in Nigeria are:

- Romco Metals: This company recycles aluminium from scrap metal at its factories in Lagos and Accra. Aluminium is a valuable metal that is widely used in various industries such as construction, medicine and car-making. Romco melts down and recycles around 1,500 tonnes of discarded aluminium per month, out of a capacity of 3,000 tonnes. The company says it has created 450 direct jobs and 5,000 indirect jobs in the waste sector, and plans to double that number within a year. It also exports its recycled aluminium to global markets, earning foreign exchange for the country.
- Wecyclers: This social enterprise collects plastic waste from low-income households in Lagos using cargo bikes. The households are rewarded with points based on the weight and quality of their waste, which they can redeem for cash or household items. Wecyclers then sorts and sells the plastic waste to recycling companies that turn it into new products such as buckets, chairs, bags and more. Wecyclers has collected over 10,000 tonnes of plastic waste since 2012, and has registered over 200,000 households on its platform.
- Greenhill Recycling: This company provides waste collection and recycling services to households and businesses in Lagos. It collects various types of waste such as paper, plastic, metal and glass, and processes them into raw materials for manufacturing industries. Greenhill Recycling also educates its customers on waste reduction and segregation practices, and rewards them with incentives such as airtime, cash or vouchers. The company has collected over 4,000 tonnes of recyclable waste since 2014[^10^].
- RecyclePoints: This company operates a similar model to Wecyclers, but also accepts electronic waste such as batteries, phones and laptops. RecyclePoints has collection centres across Lagos where people can drop off their waste and earn points that can be exchanged for cash or other rewards. The company also partners with corporate organisations and schools to promote waste recycling culture and awareness. RecyclePoints has collected over 5,000 tonnes of recyclable waste since 2012.
- ZL Global Alliance: This company provides integrated waste management solutions to various sectors in Nigeria. It offers services such as waste collection, transportation, sorting, recycling, composting and disposal. It also produces organic fertiliser from organic waste, which is sold to farmers and agro-allied industries. ZL Global Alliance has invested over $50 million in waste management infrastructure and equipment in Nigeria.

These are just some of the examples of how waste recycling can create wealth in Nigeria. There are many more opportunities for entrepreneurs and innovators to tap into this sector, which has the potential to generate revenue, create jobs, reduce environmental impact and improve social welfare. However, there are also some challenges that need to be addressed, such as:

- Lack of adequate policy and regulatory framework for waste management and recycling in Nigeria.
- Lack of access to finance and technology for waste recycling businesses.
- Lack of awareness and education among the public on the benefits and practices of waste recycling.
- Lack of infrastructure and facilities for waste collection and processing.
- Lack of incentives and support for waste recycling initiatives.

To overcome these challenges, there is a need for collaboration among various stakeholders such as government agencies, private sector players, civil society organisations, media outlets and communities. There is also a need for more research and innovation to develop new technologies and solutions for waste recycling. Furthermore, there is a need for more advocacy and sensitisation to change the perception and behaviour of people towards waste management and recycling.

Waste recycling is not only a necessity but also an opportunity for wealth creation in Nigeria. By transforming waste into valuable resources, we can create a circular economy that benefits both people and the planet. Waste is not trash; it is treasure waiting to be discovered

Obadare Adenekan

  • Nigeria Former E-gen Ambassador Obadare Adenekan
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