Lagos recycles less than 10% of waste generated – Waste Managers

plastic waste

FILE PHOTO: Plastic Waste

By Florence Onuegbu

The Association of Waste Managers of Nigeria (AWAMN) says at present less than 10 per cent of waste generated in Lagos State is being recycled.

The President of the association, Dr David Oriyomi, said this in Lagos on Friday night, during the association’s Award/Gala Night, with the theme: ”Making Circular Economy A Reality”.

Oriyomi said that there was a need for collaboration with other stakeholders in order to accelerate the rate of recycling in the state.

He said, “waste cannot continue to be buried in the dumpsites, due to the effects this method could have in future”.

According to him, there is a need to make the concept of the circular economy a reality, and the association has produced a paper and has started taking steps toward the implementation.

“Our first objective is to promote the reduction of waste being generated.

“The concept of waste being a resource can be misleading and can promote the increase of the volume of waste being generated, if not placed in the right perspective.

“Waste is only a resource if it is properly collected and channelled towards reuse or recycling. This comes at a cost and it must be viable as a business for it to be sustainable.

“Currently, less than 10 per cent of waste generated in Lagos state is being recycled; through genuine collaboration with other stakeholders we can accelerate the rate of recycling.

“We need to invest in the appropriate infrastructure and all hands must be on deck. Our priority must be to save our environment, as we are in danger of having more plastics than fish in the oceans.

“We clearly must have a rethink and producers must take more responsibilities and the government must continue to play its role as a regulator and a protector of the public interest,” he said.

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Oriyomi called on the government to invest in Sanitary Engineered Landfills, Waste to Compost, and Waste to Energy, so as to save the environment.

He said that while it was recognised that such investment was capital intensive, there was still the urgent need to invest in Sanitary Engineered Landfills, Waste to Compost and Waste to Energy to combat the negative effect of climate change.

In his goodwill message, the Managing Director, Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Mr Ibrahim Odumboni, said that in spite of the downturn experienced in 2022, the waste managers had performed well.

“We saw a lot of progress in terms of our capacity building.

“The volume of trucks and investments we made this year has been second to none. Now we can proudly boast that our PSPs have over 1,000 genuine trucks among themselves,” Odumboni said.

The Ogun State Commissioner for Environment, Dr Ola Oresanya, said that the waste managers were the key to the sustainability of waste management because they were the private sector involved in the business.

“If you are not delivering value, this business would have died.

“Basically, you are delivering values to the government and to the people of the state. That is why this business is still on and I pray it continues to be on.

“It is organic, it is natural, it is real, and that is why it is sustainable,” Oresanya said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reported that awards were given to the Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello (Lifetime Merit Award) and the CEO of FCMB, Mrs Yemisi Edun (The Amicus of the Environment).

Others who received awards included the MD of LAWMA, Mr Ibrahim Odumboni (Sui Generis Award); Mr Desmond Elliot (Advocate of the Environment), among other awardees.

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