Trash4Cash: LAWMA to transform Ajegunle waste to wealth

By Samuel Ogunsona

Ajegungule, a slum community in Lagos is about to get a major facelift through the transfer of tonnes of waste to wealth.

The intervention is expected to create thousands of jobs and lead the path way to a cleaner environment.

The city is categorized as one of the dirtiest communities in Lagos though rich in human resources.

The community is about to experience a major change through the “Trash4Cash”.

The project is the initiative of Circularity Africa Limited (CAL)

The recycling initiative by Circularity Africa Limited is being powered by the Lagos State Waste Management Agency (LAWMA).

The slum which harbours energetic youths is usually at the risk of opening the door for notorious gangs.

The “Trash4Cash” initiative is expected to redefine the culture and heritage of the city.

The goal behind the initiative is to convert waste from environmental crisis to valuable resources that creates zero waste community and economic empowerment.

Ajegunle popularly known as (AJ city) is a town in Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria and located in Ajeromi-Ifelodun local government area in the state.

According to the Lagos State Waste Management Agency (LAWMA), the state of over 20 million population produces approximately 13,000 tons of waste per day.

Irohinodua analysis shows that 4.745 million of tonnes of wastes are generated in Lagos annually of which 870,000 tonnes of plastic waste is being produced.

Recycling of plastic wastes in Ajegunle*

Plastic and Nylon is one of the most common forms of waste products in Ajegunle and can be seen almost everywhere on the street.

AJEROMI IFELODUN COMMUNITY RECYCLING HUB I located in Ajegunle is now a base center to collect disposed plastic waste and can be converted into a resource, and also, a method to prevent plastic wastes from entering the environment.

The initiative which started with the full support of the community in November, 2023, saw 500 tonnes of plastic wastes deposited at the base on the first week of it operation.

The Founder of Circularity Africa Limited, Mr Seunfunmi Ogungbure, said Circularity Africa Limited positions to enable communities to be able to clean their environment, ocean and take advantage of the opportunity for economic growth and development.

He said, “It is largely a fishing community and it has lots of fishermen and women here, every structure you see are smoking huts”

“This is why we feel our position here is a very strategic and important position and our work here is to enable these communities go clean and also take the advantage as economic empowerment”

Mr. Adewole Taiwo, who is an expert in environmental sustainability and also the co-founder of Circularity Africa Limited said the company’s plan is to extend the recycling hub to five in different locations of Ajegunle where there will be zero waste products on the street.

He said, “We are looking at deriving about four to five of the same centres around the whole of Ajegunle in other to eradicate plastic and nylon wastes in the community”

“We have about 150 registered companies like us, we have an additional company: LAGRA( Lagos Recycling Association). We go to Ikorodu, Apapa, Mile 2, Oshodi, Festac, Isolo, we have centres like this there as well”

Mr Taiwo also emphasized that part of the sales of the workers at the hub goes into their health insurance for medical care.

“Our company also run health insurance, once they bring the plastics on monthly basis, we set aside little percentage for the workers health insurance”

“So if every month, the total number of plastics they bring is around 5,000 naira, we set aside 1,500 for health insurance for any operation or test, we also have free medical treatment for the people of Ajegunle” he stated.

Also speaking to Journalists, Mrs Rashidat Adebike, who is one of the workers at the recycling hub said she started working at the hub three months ago as a recycler.

Mrs Rashidat job at the hub is to separate different trash items for easy recycling.

She stated that “trash4cash” has been a side hustle for her where she makes money every two weeks from job with little or no stress.

“I have been making money from “Trash4Cash” initiative when I realized that there is so much value attached to plastic waste” she said.

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