From the Series
Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola launched Wecyclers to build low-cost waste collection infrastructure that allows Nigerians in low-income communities to embrace recycling as a practice.
Every week, the Wecyclers peddle from door to door to collect recyclable waste such as bottles, aluminium cans and plastic sachets from low-income neighbourhoods. The company's cyclists weigh the rubbish and then reward the community members with points per kilogram in exchange for their recyclable waste. These points can be redeemed for household items, food and even cash.
The Wecyclers then transport the rubbish on custom-made tricycles through Lagos’ congested streets to get to the Wecyclers’ recycling depot. The waste is sorted and recyclable items are sold to recycling companies.
The Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) estimates that 18 million Lagosians generate around 10,000 metric tons of waste daily and that only 40 per cent of it is formally collected, leaving the remaining rubbish to block gutters and pile up on streets and outside houses. “That’s money lying on the street," Adebiyi-Abiola says.
With over 5 000 subscribers, Wecyclers is carving a niche for itself in the Nigerian recycling industry. Wecyclers is a simple solution that recycles waste and provides low-income earners a chance to earn a little extra on the side for something that they would do anyway – throw rubbish away.