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SWRC begins pilot scheme on waste recycling in Lagos schools


Obie Agusiegbe

Obie Agusiegbe

A Lagos-based group, Sustainable Waste Recycling Community of Nigeria (SWRC Nigeria) has commenced an innovative  programme aimed at transfering sustainable development principles to Nigerian youths.

The initiative called “The Youth and 3 Rs” programme and targeted on the improvement of Nigeria’s recycling rate among the youths through member schools is anchored by Environ Focus Incorporated, a Canadian based environmental organisation working globally for the sustainability of the environment  in collaboration with educational institutions in Nigeria.

Speaking during the pilot  training at S-TEE International School,  Festac Town, Lagos ,where about 50 students participated, the President and Chief Executive officer of Environ Focus, Obie Agusiegbe, described it as  a new beginning in waste management in Nigeria, where  all un segregated waste  at the moment goes to the dump sites with huge environmental challenges.

She said  the objective of the training is to  promote solutions for environmental sustainability and pollution prevention through advocacy and education,thereby improving Nigeria’s recycling rate through the development of innovative stewardships.

According to her the programme will aid in attaining a zero waste going to dump sites by 2050 as well as maintain  an association of groups and individuals interested in environmental sustainability, including waste management, recycling and pollution prevention in Nigeria.

Participating students, she said will apply  knowledge gained in the  Reduce, Reuse and Recycling ( 3Rs)  in their everyday lives, share knowledge gained with their families and have an option  to set up a recycling club which will be recognised by Lagos state through Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA).

She said the programme will  help government  in the transfer of policy into working programme in order to achieve measurable results.
According to her, before now,we have a problem of data collection which have robbed us from getting the needed aids but with the programme will give more understanding of what we are doing with verifiable data for sustainability.

“The idea is that every participating  school is going to pick garbage and by time they actually segregate their waste, they are going to collect data and know exactly how much plastics,bottles ,papers and steel they recycled in a month so that it      becomes a commodity that recycling businesses can buy into.

“So the recycling businesses can depend on that to know what commodity that the school will be selling at a particular time,which made it a Win- Win situation”, she added.

Agusiegbe further stressed the need for more Nigeria businesses to be  recycling  partners, saying we cannot really depend on money coming from outside to do environmental works because of the inherent environmental and health challenges coming out of dump sites.

There are opportunities for  businesses, who are recycling partners internationally because they can easily attract funding and recognition as environmental friendly businesses as a result of the climate change agreements.

Also a teacher in the participating school, Mr. Abidoye Wasiu described the training as epochal as it will turn the  students,who will be in the recycling club as environment protection champions and advocates in the school.
He said it has broaden the school knowledge of  the 3Rs which will help in the management of waste in a more
Sustainable manner.

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