The Lagos State Waste Management Agency, LAWMA, on Wednesday launched the ‘Lagos Recycle’ Initiative to tackle the issues bedeviling recycling in the state.
LAWMA in partnership with Heritage Bank, Pakam, TAP Africa, Rotary club of Eko Atlantic, demonstrated the Lagos Recycle App to the stakeholders, Recyclers and guests present at the record making event which held at the Ijora Olopa Headquarters of the Agency.
The MD/CEO, LAWMA, Mr. Ibrahim Odumboni in his address stated that the focus of the agency is not just on plastics but on all recyclables, addition that while Lagos state produces over 1500 metric tons of plastic wastes and a total of 3000 metric tons of all recyclables daily, the agency through this initiative will ensure that the recyclables get to the recyclers in record time without expending so much energy.
Also, with this initiative, Mr. Odumboni said over 6000 thousand jobs are expected to be created to also help tackle unemployment in the society.
“Recycling in Lagos is never going to be the same again. Gone are the days when recyclers chase plastics, plastic will chase you now. What we are doing here today, we are changing the approach. It will now be plastics coming to you and not the other way around.”
“We have set a goal for ourselves and through the support of other Lagos State Agencies, Recyclers, Heritage bank, Ministry of Environment we want to create over 6000 thousands job for the youths who will plug into the value chain and would be known as the aggregators. These are the people that will come to your house to pick up the plastic before they turn it over to the recyclers to process,” Mr. Odumboni said.
Explaining how the App works, Mr. Lukman from TAP Africa, said the App has been developed in such a way that anyone who has a bag full of recyclables in their houses can simply download the Lagos Recycle App (Pakam) from Google Play Store, fill in their details stating where they would want the waste to be picked up from, whether home or office. Once that is done, an aggregator will then pick it up and an entry is made. Once the process is complete, the system automatically qualifies that person for the both the state and local government monthly raffle draws. Every month, 10 winners will selected randomly from each 57 LCDA, amounting to 570 winners with a minimum prize of ten thousand naira.
Describing the Lagos Recycle Initiative as the Smart Waste Collection Technology for cleaner Lagos, the first in this part of the world, Mr. Tunji Bello, Lagos State’s Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, commended LAWMA for the brilliant initiative.
“This is what we need right now in Lagos state. We need this kind of partnership. We need to introduce a very good smart technology that we aide waste collection. We have been very involved in waste sorting from source and waste recycling for a very long time, this is the time to accelerate it.”
In September 2019, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu launched the blue box initiative to tackle first-hand the issue of waste separation from source and recycling. While a lot of success has been achieved in that regard, it has become necessary to take it one step further in such a way to minimize person to person contact in line with the COVID-19 safety guideline as well as creating a path to financial independence and stability for thousands of people who are ready to key into the initiative while drastically reducing the number of recyclable plastics bottles and other recyclables that end up in the drainage systems and canals.