All for Joomla All for Webmasters
Browsing Category

September Editions

September Editions

Wecyclers Cleanup Day

clean up day6


Join us as we keep fit cleaning up the community by promoting recycling in Lagos communities.
The cleanup day will be in partnership with Slum2School Africa and Poverty Stops Here. The waste collected will be sold and used to fund educational projects; from school fees to textbooks, school supplies and so on.

Lawma Yard, Odakili Str., behind Mainland LGA off Apapa, Ebute Metta, Lagos.
Saturday, October 10, 2015
10:00 AM ‐ 02:00 PM
September Editions

Recycling Aluminium Cans: Problems Associated With Improper Disposal of Aluminium Cans

By Ajibola Ameerah

Aluminium is a silvery-white, soft, non-magnetic ductile metal. It is the third most abundant element (after oxygen and silicon) in the Earth’s crust, and the most abundant metal there.

Aluminium cans

Aluminium cans

Aluminium cans are the most environmentally friendly and most recyclable type of container in the world. Aluminum cans allow the contents inside them to retain their taste, while protecting them from the negative impact of the elements. It is very durable and has a long life span. In addition, the can itself does not get rusty or lose its properties in any way. These are probably the most important reasons why aluminium is widely used for food packaging.

Aluminium recycling is the process by which scrap aluminium can be reused in products after its initial production. The process involves simply re-melting the metal, which is far less expensive and energy-intensive than creating new aluminium through the electrolysis of aluminium oxide (Al2O3), which must first be mined from bauxite ore and then refined.

It is very beneficial to recycle aluminium, recycling scrap aluminum requires only 5% of the energy used to make new aluminum, and in addition, 10 cubic yards of landfill space are saved for every ton of aluminium recycled. Recycled cans can be used to make furniture, airplane, appliances and more.

A major problem likely to occur from improper disposal of aluminium cans is environmental pollution. This comes from the fact that aluminium cans are non- biodegradable. This means that it takes a very long time for aluminium to be degraded and so, a lot of these cans end up in landfills or lay on the streets. Just like every other non-biodegradable material, it goes further to block drainage causing flood and gives rise to stagnant water which causes other health associated problems.

When aluminium cans are wasted, they must be replaced with new ones made from raw materials. Mining of these materials poses a great threat to the environment. Toxins are released into the soil and water when bauxite is mined and processed for refining into alumina. For every ton of aluminium produced, about 5 tons of caustic red mud wastes are produced along with a host of other pollutants including airborne emissions, toxic liquid effluents, etc.

The safety of man’s health in the environment is endangered due to the fact that once the environment is polluted, a lot of toxic waste are released which will result in respiratory diseases, poisoning, etc.

In the long run, we will be at the losing end when we fail to take proper care of our environment.

Don’t just throw your cans away, dispose them properly by supplying to appropriate waste management agencies.




September Editions

Impact of the Environment on the Economy

By Mofe Binitie

On the 25th of September, we joined the rest of the world to celebrate the World Maritime Day. In light of this, we sat down with the renowned Economic Policy maker, Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili to discuss the relationship between environment and the economy.

Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili

Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili

Obiageli Ezekwesili is a distinguished chartered accountant. She was a co-founder of Transparency International, serving as one of the pioneer directors of the global anti-corruption body based in Berlin, Germany. She served as the Vice-President of the World Bank’s Africa division from May 2007 to May 2012. She was instrumental to the start of the viral #BringBackOurGirls campaign on social media, which trended internationally.


Mofe Binitie: We are really impressed with the work you did with Bring Back Our Girls. Considering that 500 days just passed. What are your thoughts?

Obiageli Ezekwesili: It’s a Tragedy of immense proportions that on day 511, our girls are still not back. Following their abduction on April 14th, I started off an advocacy the very next day. I would never have imagined it would take two weeks let alone a month to get the girls back. We cannot come to closure without recovering the girls as efforts can still achieve results; honest and true efforts. The parents, dads and moms continue to believe that we can get the girls back. 

M.B: Given the correlation between environmental degradation (Desertification) and extremism in some regions of the world (Niger & Mali). What role do you think a strong environmental policy would have played to prevent Boko Haram?

O.E: You cannot have sustainable development government without integrating everything about the ecosystem of the society whether in a literal or technical sense. In our development process, we must include everything that has to do with the efficient management of our resources and everything that constitutes part of our terrestrial environment. Many people in Africa assume that the issue of the environment is too sophisticated for Africa. This is wrong; you cannot tackle poverty without a mastery of the environment. As the African continent looks to its development, it must look to the dangers of environmental degradation and the effects of climate change such as desertification and flooding. Environmental degradation takes away the viability of the African environment as a place to generate value and livelihoods. We should be preventive in action. Climate change mitigation efforts are very important. Many countries have not invested or thought about investing the environmental conversation. The people paying the price for the inertia are the poor and vulnerable. They must be prepared for the changes that are coming and must be part of the solution. The capacity within African governments that will enable the anticipatory approval and climate change has not been gathered. The required investment required to develop a climate resilient economy has not been deployed. We are at a rudimentary level of facing the climate challenge.

M.B: Given the impact of desertification, rising ocean levels and global warming will have on the world’s poor, do you think multilateral agencies like the World Bank should concentrate more on financing green infrastructure rather than dams and power.

O.E: I don’t think you can answer that question in a binary way. Africa needs all the energy it can get to support its growth. The backbone of economic development is the availability of power. Africa needs to power the continent. However, it is clear that some power will be pricey in the long term such as coal plants. However, this should not overtake the conversation that Africa can generate enough power to be the backbone of its development. Africa needs to shape its own agenda, where it reduces the cost of development to the poor. The Climate change agenda for Africa should be part of the development agenda for Africa. Both agendas are inextricably linked. We must develop strategies for dealing with them in a composite manner. Africa should get in the driving seat of its development agenda, rank its priorities, identify its own resources and develop local solutions, lay out the gaps and then invite multilateral agencies to help fill those gaps. Every development solution is local and Africa must lead in the tackling of its problems.

M.B: You have quite a distinguished profile which spans the World Bank, a ministerial position with the Nigerian government and now a board seat with the Global Ocean Commission. What do you think Nigeria can do to be at the forefront of protecting our oceans and combatting desertification?

O.E: When the oceans are not properly managed, all the pollution will be done in the ocean. Which is what we happening to the ocean presently. The Ocean is critical to life, the poor in the coastal regions depend on the oceans for their livelihood. We see that illegal fishing, pollution and narcotic activities become disastrous for communities along the ocean. For Nigeria, as a coastal nation it needs to be a champion for the governance of the oceans. There is a common assumption that the high seas are a no man’s land, and everybody is free to do as they please. This is chaotic for the world. The last time a global consensus was reached regarding the oceans was decades ago. New challenges have come up since then, we need to address this and prevent a repeat of the poor governance of the terrestrial environment

M.B: A World Bank internal report criticized the bank’s resettlement policy for large scale infrastructure projects. Given such criticism concerning the bank’s effort to finance large scale infrastructure projects, do you think the bank would be better served collaborating with social enterprises like the Grameen bank to eradicate poverty?

O.E: You need a logistical backbone for development. The important thing is how to integrate the welfare of your local populace with development. Governments must provide their citizens with an economic sense of dignity. What is awful is to dislodge people from their homes for the sake of development. We can achieve the two goals simultaneously by ensuring we are building eco-friendly infrastructure while putting the community as the center of all infrastructure projects. While I was at the Bank, we did our best to promote these goals, we didn’t always get it right and we won’t always get it right but keeping in line with best practice and holding ourselves and governments accountable is important. It would be unfair to countries that need to reduce the cost of doing business. However to romanticize social enterprises as a solution Africa’s problems is wrong. They are not the solution to Africa’s infrastructure problems. We need build national capacities in way that won’t disturb the rights and dignities of the populace.

M.B: Thoughts on the African Investment Bank (AIB)

O.E: The more the merrier. Africa needs $93billion annually to meet its infrastructure needs. You don’t get too sophisticated and become useless. There is a huge need for infrastructure; the AIB will help fill this gap. Africa should try to get the best deal and maximise value. I’ve said to leaders that nobody has the right to determine the course of your development trajectory. Every other party should be a facilitator or partner. You define the goals of your program. We need to build strong and effective national system for identifying our problem. Some of the problems we do intuitively could be solved using a scientific method for collating and analysing data.

M.B: Do you consider yourself to be an environmentalist?

O.E: I’m a friend of the environmental. We must have a sustainable environment. If not we will destroy the future. We are stewards and stewardesses of the environment. Our children must not pay for our misdeeds. However I am a pragmatic friend of the environment. As custodians of the environment, we have to be conscious of the fact that we generate our livelihood from the environment. We cannot force on Africa principles that will negate its development. Africa cannot also afford to repeat the mistakes of the developed world. I believe in renewable energy. Africa’s hydro potentials are huge with the right approach it can supply a large part of Africa’s energy. Africa must develop an adaptation agenda that will help it become climate resilient. Pragmatism is called for.

Mofe Binitie

Mofe Binitie

This interview was conducted by Mofe Ibrahim Binitie.  Mofe Binitie has over a decade of experience volunteering for non-profits and start-ups. He is passionate about driving societal change through civic engagement. He is a consultant in a leading consulting firm and a World Economic Forum Global Shaper.

September Editions


Press Conference on the Global Waste management outlook held during the ISWA 2015 conference

Press Conference on the Global Waste management outlook held during the ISWA 2015 conference

I was privileged to attend the 2015 ISWA conference held in Antwerp, Belgium from September 7th to 9th 2015. The theme of the summit was making the most of our resources and waste. It was a fantastic 3 days that exposed me to the wealth of opportunities in the solid waste sector.

At the summit, I learned from people like Phillip Heylen; Antwerp’s Vice Mayor for Culture, Economy and City Maintenance, Dr.Oyun Sanjaasuren; First President of the United Nations Environment Assembly, David Newman, the ISWA President and Dambisa Moyo; world renowned economist among many others.

With Phillip Heylen; Vice Mayor of Antwerp

With Phillip Heylen; Vice Mayor of Antwerp

Phillip Heylen talked about Antwerp’s approach to waste management as a form of urban mining. In Antwerp, waste is a resource. 71% of waste is pre-sorted at home and collected separately while 27% goes to incinerators and only 1% to landfills. In all, 1,000 people are employed in managing the 300,000 tons of waste generated by Antwerp annually. From tires to used oil and cardboard to dead animals, every type of waste is fastidiously collected and utilized and there is no waste. After all “it’s a waste to waste your waste”.

Dambisa Moyo spoke about why the problem of waste management is not prioritized worldwide. Over 1 billion people struggle to dispose of their waste around the world. These people deal daily with pollution, disease and lack of productivity due to unmanaged waste. The problem of waste management should be at the forefront; instead it is hardly prioritized and usually approached as an afterthought. Dambisa spoke about how poor waste management in developing countries enables richer more developed countries to dump their waste. She also management to economic development. Her quote “In Africa, its hard to talk to someone about the importance of a green growth agenda when people are trying to eke out a living” stuck with me and strongly supported the work we do at Wecyclers which is to provide low-income families with value from their waste.

I participated in a panel organized by the ISWA Young Professionals Group (YPG) with people like Phillip Heylen; the vice mayor of Antwerp, Antonis Mavropoulos; CEO of D-WASTE and Anja Cheriakova; CEO Bin Bang. I shared the Wecyclers story and encouraged others to join us in the waste movement.

Lessons for Africa and the World:

  1. We need to prioritize waste management and view waste as a resource. Nothing should be wasted. The days of
    Speaking at the YPG Panel

    Speaking at the YPG Panel

    landfilling and indiscriminate dumping must be numbered;

  2. The waste management sector should be viewed as a strategic sector for economic development. Antwerp employs 1,000 people to manage 300,000 tons of waste produced annually. This means that the waste sector can easily employ at least 20,000 people in cities like Lagos. When mechanization is factored in, the amount of jobs created could easily be in the hundreds of thousands;
  3. Entrepreneurship in the waste sector should be encouraged;
  4. Strong policies and regulations promoting source separation of waste should be devised;
  5. Communication is key, everyone should know what waste management and recycling is and should be encouraged to do their part toward a clean and healthy environment.


I was struck by the big names that came to speak about their passion for waste management. Royalty, ministers, mayors and CEOs of large corporations all displayed how seriously cities like Antwerp and Europe as a

Speaking at the ISWA closing session

Speaking at the ISWA closing session

whole approach waste management. The conference was a great opportunity for me to learn about best practices in waste management and to network with other waste management practitioners. I was fortunate to meet people like Mrs. Margaret Dara Oshodi; the CEO of D Nigeria Limited, a member of the ISWA working group and a foremost player in the Lagos waste management sector.

I capped off the event by participating in the closing session along with other young players in the waste sector. We shared our impressions of the conference and gave participants some words of advice as they went back into the world.