Wecyclers is a for-profit social enterprise that promotes environmental sustainability, socioeconomic development, and community health by providing convenient recycling services in densely populated urban neighborhoods. We give households a chance to generate value from their waste and provide a reliable supply of raw material to the local recycling industry.
Wecyclers addresses the challenge of urban waste. When we began in 2012, only 40% of the city’s waste was collected and only a mere 13% was recycled.
People living in slum conditions without formal waste collection are at risk of property damage; the spread of diseases such as malaria, cholera, and dysentery; and undue psychological stress. Improperly disposed trash tends to clog gutters and drainage canals leading to floods during rainfall. This trash can also create stagnant water pools that are ideal conditions for mosquitoes and other disease vectors to breed. Unmanaged trash heaps also create a burden for community residents who are forced to navigate obstructed roadways and deal with the smoke from frequent trash fires.
In addition, while Lagos is on track to become the third largest economy in Africa, 8.5% of its population is still poor and an additional 20% are vulnerable to poverty. Rapid population growth exacerbates this problem by ensuring that another four million residents will join to the already crowded megacity by 2020.