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Good, Better, Best — Cutting Down Paper Waste

Orange handled scissors cutting white paper on white background

Paper is one of the easiest materials to recycle, but it still makes up the largest component of Americans’ garbage.

A full 25% of global solid waste is paper and paperboard (also called “cardboard”). Eliminating paper waste completely would require a Herculean effort for most people, but whether you want to do good, better, or best, you can reduce your paper waste and recycle more of the paper you do use.

General Stats and Facts About Paper (Consumption & Production)

  • Global paper use has increased by 400% in the last 40 years.
  • The average person in Africa uses more than 7 kg of paper every year. That’s the highest paper usage figure per capita worldwide.
  • Every year more than 24 billion newspapers, 350 million magazines and 2 billion books are published in the US alone.
  • This is how per capita paper consumption (by region) looked on the World map not so long ago, in 2016:
  • To meet the global demand paper production volumes currently exceed 300 million metric tons per year.  Perhaps more people should switch to ebooks?
  • This number is over 400 million when we look at the combined paper and cardboard data

Despite the overall increase in waste generation, paper waste has been declining since 2005.

Less paper is being generated to throw away, thanks to increasing digitization. But with paper filling a full quarter of our garbage bins, there is still a lot of it going to waste.



You can take simple steps to reduce the amount of paper you use. Despite China’s ban disrupting the curbside recycling system in America, paper is still recyclable in most communities. Paper recycling takes almost no effort and makes a big difference to the planet.

Here is how to be good about paper waste:

  • The simplest way to reduce the amount of paper and cardboard you throw away is to recycle paper through your curbside program.
  • Recycle only clean paper. Wishful recycling of soiled paper can contaminate the entire load.
  • Subscribe to the digital version of the newspaper instead of print
  • Set your printer to two-sided printing, and reuse paper before recycling it.
  • Choose paper products made with recycled content.


If you want to do better than good, or if your community does not have curbside recycling, a little effort goes a long way.

Contact your waste management agency to let them know you value recycling. To manage paper waste better, you’ll need to recycle more and gradually replace paper products with reusable ones:

  • Register on and search our outlets close to you on your computer to find a recycler near you. Even if you have curbside service, use the database to find out where you can recycle other types of paper like paperback books or drink boxes.
  • Dirty paper towels, disposable napkins, and pizza boxes cannot be recycled. But they can be composted. Find out if your community offers yard waste recycling If they don’t, start a home compost bin.
  • Avoid the paper or plastic problem with reusable shopping and tote bags.
  • Replace sack lunches with a lunchbox
  • Digitize everything you can. Use note-taking apps and electronic calendars instead of notebooks; sign up for electronic billing and digital magazines


Because paper is easily recyclable, paper products are often the greener choice among materials. So while plastic-free is a goal for many, few people seriously attempt a paper-free lifestyle.

To achieve zero waste, do the best you can to eliminate paper and recycle everything you do use. If you’ve already accomplished the Good and Better goals, you will have noticed that food packaging makes up most of the paper waste you have left.

  • Zero waste grocery shopping requires a major shift in shopping habits — seeking out new stores and bulk products, carrying reusable containers, and making a lot more food from scratch — but it will have a big impact on the amount of paperboard you use.
  • Eliminating pizza boxes and take-out containers will require more home cooking.
  • Next, consider napkins, tissues, and paper towels. Switching to cloth napkins is easy, while handkerchiefs may be a little harder. Breaking the addiction to paper towels instead of just composting them will require rethinking how you clean. But sponges, scrub brushes, and cloth towels work just as well or better than paper.



A policy guide for Nigerian States looking to navigate sustainable management of post-consumer recyclable waste

Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola

Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola
Founder, Wecyclers 

In my earlier article, I talked about why a working Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) framework would help to provide a way out of poverty for the many people living at the base of the pyramid. In this article, I will provide practical steps for successfully implementing EPR and will demonstrate why it is critical for States to play a role in implementing EPR.

In a country like Nigeria with a federal system of government, policy creation comes from the Federal Government. Apart from being closer to the people, a lot of responsibility has been thrust on States by the constitution. The first alteration of the Constitution act, 2010 as amended in section 20 states that the State shall protect and improve the environment and safeguard the water, air and land, forest, and wildlife of Nigeria. In addition, the fourth schedule of the constitution gives powers for refuse disposal to Local Governments, however, due to a lack of ability to fund such an endeavor, this has evolved to become the responsibility of States. It is therefore imperative that for any meaningful policy change to occur, it needs to be carried out and implemented at the State level.

How Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Works


Companies or producers make products that they put in packaging, for instance, beverages are put in bottles and then sold on the market.


The consumer consumes the beverages and is ideally supposed to dispose of this responsibly by discarding it in a recycling bin.

Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO)

Under Extended Producer Responsibility, Companies are required to become members of industry organizations called Producer Responsibility Organizations (PRO) that are saddled with the responsibility of buying back their waste packaging and enabling the operations for the management of the post-consumer waste.

Government Regulator

The Government regulator, in this case, National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), is responsible for registering companies and overseeing the process.

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Source: National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA)

Under EPR, for every unit of packaging producers sell, a portion of the selling price needs to be paid into a fund managed by the PRO that would ensure that the packaging is collected back and managed appropriately. To make this illustration easy, I will use plastic bottles, which are very prolific, and a current concern in the environment globally. In the old days, we used to consume our beverages from glass bottles and this was carried out under an exchange system. We only bought the contents of those bottles, so we were required to purchase and consume the beverages at the store and return the glass bottles or provide a bottle as an exchange for the one we purchase. Now, due to a growing population with busier schedules, it is much more convenient to buy beverages in plastic containers which has led to the situation we find ourselves in. In the developing world where there is inadequate infrastructure to support collection as well as low public awareness and understanding of proper waste management practices, a lot of packaging ends up becoming litter. This litter washes into drainages and ends up in the ocean.

Graphic showing how plastic ends up in oceans

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Source: United States National Ocean Service

The Gap

Nigeria, through NESREA has taken an important step forward and has introduced EPR, however for this to work, targets need to be set, this would mean that companies are paying an amount commensurate with the quantum of the packaging of the products they sell.

Because waste management is the responsibility of sub-nationals, negative externalities caused by waste packaging are suddenly their problem and their failure. This is because the economic cost required to clean up their packaging from communities is not being adequately priced and is not being contributed by producers. When waste becomes litter, it falls through the cracks and becomes the problem of these sub-nationals who are cash strapped and unable to pay the cost for cleanup.

To bridge this gap, Producer Responsibility Organizations should be mandated to have a dedicated fund that could be tailored towards addressing the waste issues for each State. Funds generated should be applied toward overhead, awareness, incentives and investments in those States. According to Jennifer Uchendu of SustyVibes “domestication is important, there is no one size fits all solution for Nigeria” This makes sense, because the problems faced by Lagos are of a far greater magnitude than say Jigawa or even neighboring Ogun State.

This means that NESREA should not stop at introducing EPR, they should work with various States to put local targets in place, which would be monitored by the various States. 

A workable solution for plastic bottles

According to the Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance (FBRA), in 2018, Nigeria pumped 150,000 tons of plastic bottles alone annually into the system, a whopping 50% of the consumption happens in Lagos (1).

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If we assume that a beverage is sold for 100 naira and just 1 naira was set aside to ensure that the plastic bottle it comes in is collected, this would easily generate N2.6 billion to fund collection, however, this is not currently implemented as this cost has not been included in the sales of the product. If 28% (3) of funds generated go to fund collection via a deposit return scheme where people are paid for every kg of plastic bottles they recycle, this would generate N735 million, which could employ over 2,000 people in Lagos alone at the current minimum wage of N30, 000 per month.

I’ve utilized 1 Naira here as a way to start the conversation. The choice of the amount set aside for deposit return depends on the extra cost consumers are willing to pay to ensure that their bottles are collected. The amount could go as high as 5 Naira or even 10 Naira, which would mean more funds are available to fund the collection and provide jobs for the vulnerable population and ultimately scale up the recycling process in Nigeria.

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We can have a 10-billion naira fund in Lagos

Lagos has arguably the most efficient waste management infrastructure in Nigeria, but is only able to collect about 30-40% of the waste generated; this means that a lot of waste is left in communities.

If an EPR scheme for plastic bottles alone can generate over 2 billion with a 1 Naira per bottle charge, other waste materials that constitute a nuisance can also be taxed/levied. For instance, single-use plastic bags, e-waste, Styrofoam, etc. I would like to sound a note of caution here:

  • The Government should NOT treat the funds generated as revenue. The funds should be managed by independent entities organized and managed by the private sector. These entities would be answerable to the Government and the general public.
  • Targets should be set over a 5 to 10 year period. The target should be small and grow over time to enable companies to input this in their plans. The N10 billion annually mentioned will not be generated overnight but can be achieved within 5 years.

There are other tools in the toolbox of sub nationals as follows:

  •  Create an enabling political structure to ensure that waste recycling is aligned with the goals of the administration. This could be carried out by having a cabinet-level person or a Fund with a Board of Trustees responsible for moving the State in the right direction. Remember, if this is done right, waste recycling efforts would dovetail nicely with poverty alleviation efforts and could synergize with programs that would lift vulnerable people from poverty.
  • Invest in a robust monitoring and enforcement framework to collect tax for things like plastic bags and to enforce fines for littering. This could be financed with a small percentage of the funds generated.
  • Require every household and every corporate organization to recycle.
  • Provide recognition, awards, and tax incentives for organizations that conform.
  • Gradually introduce recycling through phased programs by starting with certain local governments.
  • Annual review of performance with the PROs and NESREA, this could be publicized through a website to ensure transparency and accountability of the process.
  •  Promote the EPR model, these producers should be allowed to join the producer responsibility organization of their choice, they should have oversight on what the funds are utilized for to ensure transparency and accountability.

The active and sustained participation of States in EPR implementation is key to success. If done correctly, this would align all players (States, citizens, producers) and ensure that sustainable waste management is a reality. Proper waste collection is just the first step; there are several other cogs in the wheel, which would be addressed during scaling and expansion.


My thanks go out to Jennifer Uchendu of SustyVibes and Agharese Onaghise of FBRA who provided invaluable insight and contributions. Thank you both!!


(1) Bloomberg:,FBRA)%2C%20a%20trade%20group.

(2) 35 bottles per kilogram, 35,000 bottles per ton.

(3) Wecyclers is incentivizing at between 10 to 15 naira per kg on average, which is 28 kobo per bottle.



Yemisi Lawal appointed as COO and Salamot  Fasasi as CFO

LAGOS, Nigeria – 1 July 2020 – Nigeria’s pioneering waste recycling enterprise, Wecyclers Nigeria Limited has named Oluwayemisi Lawal and Salamot Fasasi as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer respectively.

Mrs. Lawal previously served as head of HSE and Customer Engagement and Mrs. Fasasi held the role of Controller and Finance manager until her appointment. They will both assume the new role effectively July 1, 2020.

Yemisi Lawal, has 9 years of environmental management experience including the last 4 years at Wecyclers where she has led teams and various projects. She holds a Masters in Environmental Management from the University of Lagos and B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology.

Salamot Fasasi, has over 30 years of Finance experience and has served in various capacities at Wecyclers since joining in 2014. She holds an MBA in Marketing from the Lagos State University and Bachelors in Business Administration from the University of Lagos.

Speaking on these appointments, the CEO, Wecyclers, Olawale Adebiyi, expressed his confidence that the newly appointed CFO and COO will further, strengthen Wecyclers’ mission of empowering households through waste.

“These appointments demonstrate our commitment to nurturing talent and rewarding success. We have a deep pool of highly qualified and dedicated employees, who can be challenged with more responsibility in attaining our vision. We remain committed to diversity and inclusion and are delighted by the depth and quality of experience that this leadership team brings to Wecyclers. These appointments further indicate our internal succession capacity and I’m confident in the capacity they would bring on board”.

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.



Starting an Office Recycling Program

As much as 90 percent of office waste in the average workplace can be recycled. Here’s how to get started.

Companies everywhere are ramping up efforts to go green, but sustainability starts with your employees. They’re the ones printing the sheets of paper and drinking from cans that often easily end up in the trash can, without much thought.
In the average workplace, about 80 to 90 percent of solid waste is actually recyclable, establishing an office recycling initiative won’t just reduce your carbon footprint, but it could also save your business money. Here’s how to get started.

Getting Started – Waste Audit

Ready to get up close and personal with the trash can? The first step to setting up an effective recycling program is to survey your workplace, and figure out exactly what’s going into the trash. Then, you can figure out which products are recyclable and which ones you want to include in your workplace recycling initiative. The easiest way to do this is by reaching out to us – Wecyclers, asking them exactly what they recycle and what they don’t.

Though up to 90 percent of office waste in the average workplace can be recycled, in the beginning, it generally makes sense to start small.

Paper products are a typical place to start. Beverage containers, too, are a no-brainer; most workers go through as many as 3 a day.

A few months after you launch your program, as employee participation and awareness increases, you can move onto other, larger recyclable objects, such as ink cartridges, computers, and other electronics.

Whatever you decide to recycle, you’ll need to appoint a coordinator – Recycling Champion to oversee and organize the program. This person should ideally be someone who is enthusiastic about sustainability and willing to help plan and see the entire recycling initiative through.

Encouraging Participation

Even if you’ve found the perfect program coordinator, a successful recycling initiative needs to come from the top down in order to motivate employees to participate. The most amount of success in corporate sustainability initiatives when they come from higher up as people tend to respond more strongly when it’s coming from the CEO, for example.”

Nailing the small details will go a long way in getting people to recycle. Be strategic about your placement of recycling bins. They need to go in places where the most trash is generated, like copy rooms, near printers, break rooms, and in cafeterias. They also need to be easily identifiable, with clear signage indicating they are for recyclable materials only. (Make sure to specify which material goes into which bin.)

Besides handy bins, another way to encourage employees to participate is consistent communication. Make sure every worker in the office is aware of the program and its goals. Track progress in public by counting up recycled materials, and let them know what they’ve helped to accomplish so far. You might even try adding incentives or rewards.

Training Staff

You can do everything you can to educate employees and make it easier for them to contribute, but don’t assume the rest of the parts you can’t see are going to do it the right way too.

It’s essential to reach out to your building management or your landlord to notify them of your recycling initiative, so they can make sure janitorial staff are on the same page. Your office complex might even already have a recycling program in place, making it easy to take advantage of what’s already available.

The potential for a successful recycling program balances on the employees who are producing office waste. You need an ongoing education program that lets them know the details of your program, and what they can and can’t recycle.

Arranging for Disposal

One of the most important parts of the process is deciding how to collect and dispose of the recyclables. There are many different types of paper products, like printer paper, magazines, cardboard, and construction paper. You can separate each specific type, which can make your recyclables more valuable if you’re disposing of them at a Wecyclers Recycling Exchange drop-off centre or a pickup by the Wecyclers team and could increase employee awareness about the specifics of recycling.

For businesses located in Lagos, Nigeria we offer recycling services and are responsible for waste disposal. For other businesses located out of our coverage area, contact whoever takes care of your waste to arrange for proper disposal and pickup of whatever materials you recycle, too.

You may have to hire an outside service. This will depend on the size of your company, as many commercial recyclers require a particular volume of waste that could be more than your company generates. Consider partnering with other companies, hiring smaller companies, or arranging to drop off recycling at drop-off centres.

Taking More Steps

Recycling programs are often only a smaller part of a broader workplace program to encourage sustainable business practices. Especially if you’re looking to save on costs, combining your recycling program with an effort to reduce office waste and reuse existing products can be a smart business strategy. When you’re auditing what goes into the garbage, you might realize that you’re wasting a lot of paper. Try to find tasks that could be paperless or products that could be reused.

Recycling, reducing, and reusing doesn’t have to stop in the workplace. Adding an extra dimension to the program definitely increases the overall awareness

Take action today, contact us to start recycling in your organisation.


Nestlé Nigeria and Wecylers to tackle Plastic waste pollution in Lagos

From Left: Regional Regulatory and Scientific Affairs Manager, Nestle CWAR, Mrs Kemisola Ajasa, Business Executive Officer,Nestle Waters Nigeria, Mr Rabie Issa, Managing Director/CEO, Nestle Nigeria Plc, Mr Mauricio Alarcon, Managing Director, Wecyclers, Mr Wale Adebiyi Head Business Development, Wecyclers, Mrs Omobolanle Olowu and Ms Victoria Uwadoka,Corporate Communications & Public Affairs Manager , Nestle Nigeria, at the Nestle Nigeria and Wecyclers Mou Signing in Lagos.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by Nestlé Nigeria Plc, a leading Food and Beverages Company, and WeCyclers on Friday will see no fewer than 15,000 Nigerians empowered through an extended plastic waste recovery system.

Wecyclers is a social enterprise that helps households in low-income communities capture value from their waste, to accelerate the process of recovering and recycling post-consumption plastic packaging waste in Lagos State.

At the signing in Lagos, Mr. Mauricio Alarcon, the Managing Director and Chief Executive  Officer of Nestlé Nigeria said: “ The agreement enables Wecyclers to extend plastics recovery systems to more communities.

“This is through the establishment of collection points across five more communities. The project will also help to create 40 direct jobs for collection point operators and sorters, and empower an additional 15,000 Wecyclers subscribers.

“It is estimated that 70 percent of all ocean litter is plastic and the quantity of plastic waste entering the natural environment harms wildlife and damages the ecosystem. The environmental impact is so enormous that the UN described it as a planetary crisis that is causing irreparable damage.

“In Nigeria, the problem is growing due to increasing usage and indiscriminate disposal of single-use plastics; we are witnessing a surge in plastic waste pollution’’.

According to Alarcon, Lagos alone produces about 10,000 metric tonnes of waste daily, most of which end up in landfills and waterways, exacerbating health and environmental hazards. He said that tackling plastic pollution is an urgent priority which requires a multi-sector collaboration.

“So, this MoU with Wecyclers is another step toward achieving our shared objectives of a waste-free future and building thriving communities. One of our ambitions at Nestle is to strive for zero environmental impact in our operations as we strive toward a waste-free future.

“A key part of achieving this goal is to make 100 percent of our packaging reusable or recyclable by 2025. And also, that none of our product packagings end up in landfills, litter environment, seas, oceans, and waterways’’.

Alarcon said: “In line with the belief that producers and consumers need to change behaviour and habits to manage the menace, Nestle is taking actions with industry members of Food & Beverage Recycling Alliance ( FBRA). This is to engage people, businesses, and consumers to play their part.’’


On his part, Mr. Olawale Adebiyi, the CEO of Wecyclers said: “This partnership is an avenue to extend the plastics collection and recycling process by setting up more collection sites across Lagos.

“These plastics have value and what we do is to assign value to them. When we weigh the amount of material these people will bring, we pay them for it; that will make them go out and find more.

“We on our own will sell the material, and the profit we will generate, we use to fund the process. It is basic; we are buying and selling plastics, but more sustainably, making sure that people are engaged,’’ he said.

According to him, the recycling exchange programme, since its inception in 2018, has diverted over 400 tonnes of plastic from landfills into productive reuse.

Adebiyi said that Wecyclers would handle the construction and deployment of each recycling kiosk, with coverage areas including Ajah, Ikeja, Mushin, Lagos Island, and Magodo.


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.


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
+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
+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

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
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.


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.







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. @realwecyclers

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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.