Lagos Waste Manager launches waste recycling project

Luqmon Balogun, Lagos

The Lagos State Waste Management Authority LAWMA has launched an initiative aimed at sorting waste from homes with the introduction of Blue Box.
This is a new culture of waste disposal and management in the State.
The Blue Box is a single stream recyclable collection programme that will allow separation of recyclable materials from the general waste at the point of generation.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, says rather spending huge fund to manage waste, the State hopes to generate billions of naira from waste through recyclable waste.
Governor Sanwo-olu who explained that the state wants to move from waste being a burden to means of revenue and jobs said that his administration was determined to create wealth out of the 10,000 metric tons of waste daily generated in the state through recycling technique that would also create direct and indirect jobs in the value chains.
Waste to Wealth

“It is now crystal clear that we cannot depend on old disposal method to manage the quantum of waste generated in Lagos. The experience of the past dictated the need to explore efficient techniques in line with our ‘Smart City’ aspiration. Rather than being a burden on us, we want to create wealth through the new techniques and generate jobs for our youths.



“In Lagos, 50 per cent of waste generated contains reusable resources which we can be harnessed and channeled into the economy of the State from the dustbin. This circular economy we are aiming to achieve through the introduction of Blue Box Programme encourages the use of another person’s trash as fixture for another person’s process. It minimises waste in our society and generates income for the citizens.” Governor said

He said that the old style of waste management needs to give way for a more efficient technique.
Business opportunities

Sanwo-Olu observed that the bulk of recyclable materials currently being harvested on the dumpsites by scavengers could not pass quality test required for the recycling process due to high level of contamination. This, he said, made it difficult for recyclers to get value out of the materials.

He said that the Blue Box Programme was introduced to address the observed challenges, as well as creating business opportunities for the youth in this sub-sector, stressing that by 2021, “the State would have captured over 50 per cent of recyclable waste materials from its dumpsites and reduced carbon footprints in the environment.”

The Governor implored residents to key into the initiative by separating recyclable waste, which they could exchange for money, thereby tapping into the huge economy that it was meant to provide.

He however charged the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) to engage communities across the state by sensitising people on how to harness recyclable materials for wealth creation.

Redeem aesthetics

Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello, said the initiative was the government’s strategy to redeem the aesthetics of the environment after a period of degeneration that preceded Sanwo-Olu’s administration.

According to him “The pursuit of delivering cleaner Lagos to our citizens necessitated our resolve to rethink our strategy in waste management, one of which is sorting of waste. Our ultimate goal is to attain waste conversion and buyback, which, in the process, would turn waste to resources. This will ultimately minimise waste and discourage inappropriate disposal in the drainage.

Today’s launch of Lagos Blue Box Programme, which is to modernise our waste management system, is a move in the right direction. This is a component of our waste management policy aimed at attaining cleaner and greater Lagos.”

Reduce excesses

Giving technical brief on the Blue Box Initiative, Managing Director, Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegesin, said the agency introduced the move to phase out an expensive waste management process, which he said denied the State derivable revenue that could accrue from efficient waste management system.

He said: “To kickoff the Blue Box programme, we are distributing these color-coded recycling bags to each household through franchised recyclers for separation of recyclables. The bags will be collected on designated dates by assigned recyclers and transported to the sorting hubs within the area at designated days of the week. Respective recycling companies who are franchise holders will then come to pick up the boxes.”

Gbadegesin also maintained that recyclers and environmental volunteer corps, who would further educate residents on the usage, would distribute the colour-coded bags.

He added that the volunteer corps would also collate and sort the collected recyclables before being transported to Recycling Centres in respective communities for further sorting and sale to off-takers.