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RecycleGO Helping Wecyclers to Solve Lagos Waste Crisis

 

RecycleGO is proud to announce its launch in Nigeria providing a customized scheduling solution to Wecyclers, a household recycling service in the capital city of Lagos. Using a fleet of low-cost cargo bikes, Wecyclers helps communities capture value from their waste. Lagos, the African continent’s most populous city, provides an ample proving ground for RecycleGO’s technology-based sustainability tracking and evaluation services as the company begins to expand beyond the US marketplace.

Lagos faces a sobering waste crisis that, if not properly addressed, will only worsen. The city’s population stands at 21 million people today and is projected to double within 30 years. The overburdened municipal government collects only 40% of city garbage and a mere 13% or recyclable materials are salvaged from landfills. People living in slum conditions without formal waste collection are subject to increased flooding, the spread of disease, and psychological stress that results from unmanaged trash heaps. Concurrently, recycling firms in Lagos face a supply constraint, as they cannot access an adequate supply of quality recyclable material to process. One large recycling firm is operating its facility at 50% to 60% below capacity. Wecyclers gives low-income communities in developing countries a chance to capture value from waste and to clean up their neighborhoods though incentive-based recycling.

RecycleGO’s location-based scheduling and tracking software will enable Wecyclers to operate more efficiently while providing the data analytics to continually improve recycling efforts. Wecyclers CEO Wale Adebiyi explains, “Wecyclers is excited to be in partnership with RecycleGO to drive positive change in the recycling space. We believe that in order to be successful in a challenging environment like Lagos, we have to employ cutting edge technology in our business and RecycleGO provides that. The location based tracking software will help us manage our fleet of WECYCLERS to ensure the most efficient and cost effective collection operation in the business.”

About RecycleGO

RecycleGO was founded in 2016 with a mission to provide sustainable recycling solutions that mutually benefit business and the environment. Founder and President/CEO Stan Chen brings over 20 years of experience in recycling and a vision to make a positive impact on the environment by using new innovations in the relatively tech-dormant recycling industry. Co-founder and CTO Jan Gerards has a deep background in project management, software system architecture design, and business consulting for enterprise-level software implementations.

Featured

King Baudouin Foundation awards 2018-19 African Development Prize to WeCyclers, a start-up leveraging the power of communities and generating impact by redistributing the benefits from recycled waste

 LAGOS, 21 March 2019 – The King Baudouin Foundation awards the African Development Prize to WeCyclers, a Lagos based waste management start-up. The Prize will allow WeCyclers to develop further their business and increase their impact at national and international level.

 

By 2100 Africa will account for 5 out of 10 biggest cities in the world, and Lagos could be the biggest city in the world. Today, Lagos residents generate 15,000 tons of waste per day, of which only 40% is collected by municipal government. WeCyclers’ model is designed to help fill this gap and reduce solid waste in the street of Lagos, improving both the environment and the wellbeing of populations.

The organisation utilises low and high technology solutions that comprise of a mobile application and SMS technology, as well as innovative low-cost bicycle-powered collection vehicles, which collect recyclable waste directly from households, to sell it on to recycling plants before it is made into new products. Households are sent an SMS by WeCyclers informing them of any “points” earned, which may be redeemed for food, household items and other goods.

“We are proud to grant WeCyclers for their unique model”, said Hervé Lisoir from the King Baudouin Foundation. “We selected the enterprise out of 200 applications for its innovative approach to engaging the community turning recycling into an economic driver for communities and turning citizens into agents of change.”

The company has also been selected for its economic impact. By rewarding citizens with “points”, it allows low-income communities to capture value from their waste, and redeem points for household goods, food items or cash aiding daily life. Today, the company already benefits from the engagement of over 17k subscribers in 7 localities in Lagos. It registers around 200 new members each month. The Nigerian start-up has also created 200 jobs in 7 years, with a focus on women, who currently account for 60% of their workforce.

“Giving back to the community is in the DNA of WeCyclers. We want to expand our business to other neighbourhoods. In the mid-term, we want to be big enough to build our own recycling plant. Growing more for WeCyclers, means being able to give back even more to the community, “declared Olawale Adebiyi, CEO of WeCylcers.

Since WeCyclers launched its initiative, awareness around the issue has risen among the general public, spurring several other companies to develop new solutions to recycling. WeCyclers have also recently partnered with major corporations, such as Unilever and Nigerian Bottling Company, to launch “kiosks” in places where there are no collection routes.

Through its financial support of €200,000, the Prize will allow WeCyclers to upscale their model and increase their footprint, with plans to expand in Lagos, other Nigerian cities and neighbouring countries. The Prize also provides access to a wide network of stakeholders in Europe and the US, who will support them as they grow. With current growth projections, WeCyclers aim to collect 5k tons of recyclables by 2020 and could be serving 500k households by 2023.

The biennial award ceremony in the presence of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium at the Royal Palace in Brussels will take place June 12.

Media Contacts
For further information on opportunities for briefings and interviews with the winners, spokespeople and former laureates, please contact:
Graziella Chelo, Portland
graziella.chelo@portland-communications.com
+44 (0) 20 7554 1714 (direct)

For further information on attending the King Baudouin African Development Prize Ceremony, please contact:
Hervé Lisoir, King Baudouin Foundation
lisoir.h@kbs-frb.be
+32 2 549 02 23 (direct)

For images: Please find here images from the official King Baudouin Foundation Flickr account.

Further information

The King Baudouin Foundation
The King Baudouin Foundation is an independent public benefit foundation working in Belgium and at the European and international level. We are seeking to change society for the better, so we invest in inspiring projects and individuals. In 2018 we provided a total of €44.8 million in support to 2,350 organizations and individuals. The Foundation was set up in 1976, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of King Baudouin’s reign. For more information, visit www.kbs-frb.be

About the King Baudouin African Development Prize
The aim of the King Baudouin African Development Prize is to acknowledge the work of African individuals or organisations which have made an exemplary contribution to development in Africa. It also seeks to draw public attention to the many inspirational stories of hope, struggle and success which emanate from the development field in Africa. For more information, visit www.kbprize.org
Previous Prize winners include:

Dr Denis Mukwege, Nobel Peace Prize Winner 2018, for his contribution to founding the Panzi Hospital in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where tens of thousands of sexual violence victims were treated.
BarefootLaw Ltd for its work providing free-of-charge online legal service in East Africa to those most vulnerable to understand and defend their basic rights.
Farmerline Ltd for its work connecting over 200,000 farmers and enabling them to share information, helping some smallholder farmers grow their profits by 50 percent.
Kytabu Inc. for its work in developing an innovative textbook content-leasing app for students, making school reading accessible to 11-million students in Kenya.

Featured

Ways Your Business can Benefit from Recycling

We recently joined our joined our friends, Sterling Bank to share knowledge and mark 1 year as our corporate recycling subscriber. Through our  corporate recycling programme, we have learnt lessons on why businesses should take waste management seriously and the inherent benefits, see some of these here:

Waste management could have a bigger impact on your business than you think…

Do you know what happens to your business’ waste once it’s been collected? Not many people do. In fact, not many people are interested in what really does happen to their waste.

It’s this way of thinking that can result in your business having a negative impact the environment. But that’s not all – it can also mean that you’re not getting good value for money with your waste management services.

Additionally, under the Waste Regulations, businesses that produce waste legally have a duty of care for its safe disposal. Therefore, whilst you might be content with simply knowing that your waste is gone, it could be more beneficial for your business to know exactly where your waste is going and that you have the appropriate documentation to prove this.

Recycling is one of the most recognised ways of making your business greener. For even more encouragement, we’ve put together this nifty list of just 5 of the key benefits that recycling can have for your business.

1)  Minimise your environmental impact

First of all: are you confident that your waste isn’t going to landfill? Whilst landfill disposal may seem like the easy option, it in no way supports our environment.

Ultimately, landfill disposal offers no beneficial end-game for waste materials such as other disposal methods like recycling. When you recycle your waste materials, this gives them the opportunity to be used as a resource to create new products for the market. This means your business is helping to contribute towards a circular economy, by extracting the most value from your materials.

Additionally: landfill sites produce landfill gases, of which two major components are CO2 and methane. Both of these gases have an influence on climate change. By encouraging that as much of your waste is diverted from landfill in favour of greener routes, this helps to improve the impact that your business has on the environment.

2) Save your business money

Is your business spending too much money on waste management? As landfill tax continues to rise, recycling your waste remains to be a much more cost-effective solution for your business.

Recycling encourages as much of your waste as possible to be diverted from landfill. This helps to cut down on disposal costs by reducing the burden of rising landfill tax, helping to save your business more money.

3)  Improve your business’ reputation

When you put in the effort to recycle your waste (which, really, doesn’t require that much effort at all), you showcase to your customers that you care about your social and environmental impact. Go you. In return, this can earn you more respect from your customers and encourage them to use your business more.

What this means: potentially, letting our customers see you as an environmentally responsible business could help to boost your reputation and your sales.

For this to happen, you should encourage others in your workplace to support your mission too. Additionally, you should make sure that you a receiving a sustainable solution from your waste services provider so that you can be confident your business is doing the best it can be to support the environment and improve its reputation.

4)  Get a competitive edge over your competitors

Recycling is a sustainable solution for your business waste and it can lead to a positive impact on your brand value. Promoting your business as being sustainable and environmentally conscious can help give you a competitive edge over your competitors.

Bonus: Having that environmental aspect to your brand could potentially increase the desirability of your product or service to customers who care about their own environmental impact.

As environmental responsibility becomes increasingly important to a business’ brand value, it is essential that you actively work to improve your environmental impact. Encouraging recycling and landfill diversion is a huge step in the right direction.

 

5)  Overall peace of mind

We’re already established the key benefits that recycling your waste offers your business and how simply improving the way your business treats waste can give you the opportunity to see more benefits for your business.

Another tip is to make sure that you can rely on your waste service provider for a sustainable and cost-effective solution. Having a provider that you can trust will give you peace of mind that your waste is being managed both effectively and ecologically.

Knowing that your waste is being recycled and recovered by specialists means that you can focus on what really matters – running your business.

Featured

WECYCLERS ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENT OF NEW CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

PRESS RELEASE

WECYCLERS ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENT OF NEW CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

OLAWALE ADEBIYI TAKES OVER AS CEO AS BILIKISS ADEBIYI-ABIOLA IS APPOINTED TO HEAD LASPARK

 

LAGOS, Nigeria21 September 2017 – Nigeria’s pioneering waste recycling enterprise, Wecyclers Nigeria Limited has named Olawale Adebiyi as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Mr. Adebiyi will succeed Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola, who has been appointed as the General Manager of  the Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency(LASPARK). Mr Adebiyi, who is currently the Chief Operating Officer of Wecyclers, will commence his position beginning September 2017.

Olawale Adebiyi, has 9 years of industrial experience at a US Fortune 200 company and is experienced in construction and commissioning of multimillion-dollar production facilities. He holds an MBA from the Indiana University, Kelly School of Business, and an M.S and B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from Florida Institute of Technology.

Commenting on the new appointment, Outgoing CEO and General Manager LASPARK, Mrs. Bilikiss-Adebiyi-Abiola, said:

“Wale has made a considerable contribution towards the growth of Wecyclers. He has a record of outstanding leadership and the ability to innovate and execute. He demonstrated this in his role as COO by helping to structure Wecyclers to a point where our managers are more empowered, our staff is much better equipped, and the company is running quite smoothly It’s now time for us to scale up.

Wecyclers has a very special mission in Nigeria – to empower Africa to be the recycling leader in the World, and for the past year, Wale has worked on the day-to-day operations in a bid to place us in line with our mission. I am very certain that Wale will help us deliver on these big dreams.”

Commenting on his new role, Mr Adebiyi expressed his commitment to helping Wecyclers reach its strategic objectives. He stated that he will continue to work and live by the company’s vision, while honouring the company’s commitment to creating jobs, community empowerment, and improving the quality of life of all Nigerians through recycling.

 

About Wecyclers

Wecyclers is a for-profit social enterprise that promotes environmental sustainability, socioeconomic development, and community health by providing convenient recycling services in densely populated urban neighborhoods using a fleet of low-cost cargo bikes. We give households a chance to generate value from their waste and provide a reliable supply of raw material to the local recycling industry. www.wecyclers.com @realwecyclers

Featured July Editions

Taking recycling further, Wecyclers sets up new hub and introduces its model to Agunlejika

Just a few years ago, the idea of getting rewarded for your waste seemed impossible in Nigeria, on the contrary people paid to dispose waste, but since 2012 when Wecyclers launched in Nigeria as pioneers in the formal recycling sector, the trend of recycling has grown tremendously. However there still remains a lot more to be done in taking the message and enlightenment on the benefits of recycling to more households across Nigeria.

Over the past couple of months Wecyclers through it’s #LagosIsRecycling campaign and awareness driven by passionate volunteers has taken recycling to new communities where it recently set up new hubs/operational base in response to the growing concerns of increase in waste. Communities around Agunlejika, Lagos on May 18 played host to the Wecyclers team, partners and volunteers with 305 household signing up for recycling and over 50 recycling.

Lagos, Nigeria with a population of nearly 20 million people produces about 13,000 metric tons of waste bulk of which is left uncollected including recyclable waste. Seeking to address the challenge of awareness and enlightenment, Wecyclers through it’s volunteer network set up the #LagosIsRecycling campaign to actively drive the Wecyclers model and work to reduce the waste crisis in Lagos, create community and concerted efforts to improve sanitation in line with the Sustainable development Goals.

See pictures from the Agunlejika outreach.

 

Featured July Editions

A Volunteer’s Experience at Mushin Street Conference

by Omoukpon Unuigbe

On April 27, Wecyclers joined Susty Vibes as the team celebrated their One Year Anniversary with an outreach program in their #StareDownOnPollution campaign.

One of the members of the Wecyclers Volunteer Initiative, shares her experience below:

“My name is Omo and I was at the Susty Vibes Mushin Street Conference in partnership with Wecyclers.”

“I heard about this event through Wecyclers and I signed up immediately. Our simple task was to encourage people to stare down on pollution and then introducing Wecyclers as a solution to this pollution. It was a fun experience for me even with the sun scorching my forehead and the salt of my sweat on my brow.”

“I got to speak with sellers who were eager to do away with their waste and get something in return. The first person I approached unknown to me couldn’t converse well in English and I was just going on and on using all the big grammars known to man… Until the person just gave an indifferent nod after all the English I spoke. I immediately started again this time turning on my Warri Pidgin and I did a great job because the person signed up immediately and was so elated about the idea.”

“By and by, I had to drop my English for Yoruba and Pidgin in order to pass across the message. I later learned that it’s easier for people to discard their waste on the roadside and walk away, but when they realize they are actually throwing away money and other gifts they have a greater tendency to keep it and give it to Wecyclers! That’s the approach I used.”

I would to say we got good feedback and the locals of Mushin have gotten the message #StareDownOnPollution!