The Lagos State Government has commended the management of WasteXchange Limited for revolutionizing plastic waste management and urged residents in Lagos to embrace it as a way of life.
The state government gave this commendation during the first-year anniversary of WasteXchange, which is co-founded by Oluwatoyin Fashola and Yewande Soyannwo.
The event also witnessed the formal inauguration of the Coca-Cola Foundation’s grants of 500 kilograms bailing machine, 75kva, scale and working capital to the WasteXchange.
Speaking at the anniversary ceremony, the general manager of Lagos State Environment Protection Agency (LASEPA) Dolapo Fasawe, said the state government was proud of its partnership with WasteXchange because “managing waste properly makes our job easier in protecting the environment and also improves our economy and health.”
Fasawe stated that, “plastics are very recyclable. It does not biodegrade and we can use them for 100 of years as the empty plastic bottles can become chairs and tables, which ican become roofing materials and in turn processed into plastic slippers and school bags. This is what we call circular economy whereby someone’s waste is someone else’s raw material.”
She noted that people would save plastics when they know that it can earn them money by bringing them to recyclers, a culture WasteXchange is promoting through its “bring your pet bottles, cans and get instant cash on the spot.”
Fasawe assured that the state government is playing its role to ensure sustainable waste management in Lagos and is working hard to establish mechanised dumpsites in the state.
She, however, noted that “the truth is that waste management is not a project, it is not a programme. It is a way of life. And it is not the government’s responsibility alone but a collective responsibility that starts from your home and where we generate waste.
“Therefore, join us in this fight against a dirty Lagos and I assure that government will do its part as you continue to do your part.”
In her welcome address, the managing director of SC Facilities Management, Oluwatoyin Fashola, said the company was a, “social enterprise focused on ensuring effective waste management and a cleaner environment in Nigeria.
Fashola added: “WasteXchange is a company that inspires people to recycle by creating value from their everyday waste at our recycling hub located in Oniri, Lagos.
“Our organisation operates an incentive and cash reward scheme, which collects recyclable waste materials from registered customers, waste pickers, residential estates, corporate entities, etc. and in return rewards them based on the volumes, which they can accumulate and use to redeem cash and numerous household items offered through our reward system.”
She said that the entire “value chain of our unique waste recycling model promotes poverty eradication, women empowerment, youth employment, community engagement and environmental sustainability and overall national development.”
She also disclosed that the launch of the Neighbourhood WasteXchange in collaboration with Lagos State Waste Management Agency, was, “to reduce the volume of waste that gets to the dump site and ensure that wastes do not end up in drains.”
The Special Adviser on SDG to Lagos State Governor, MSolape Hammond, said plastics because they are not degradable, “that is why what WasteXchange is doing here is so admirable. The idea is to work with our people to turn this potential problem into benefits for them and the state. This is why we are here today.”
Also, the General Manager of Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (lASPARK), Adetoun Popoola, thanked the management of WasteXchange for caring for the environment.
“It is important that you continue to do this in all part of Lagos,” she said.
Speaking in the same vein, the President of Lagos State Recyclers Association, Femi Idowu Adegoke, said that WasteXchange has become “a model for what we call community recycling that involves everyone within the community. And I can see that everyone within this community of Oniru is well represented. This means that this investment has reached out to its community and is affecting it positively.”