The purple team keeping Lagos clean
A team of cargo riders and waste sorters with purple t-shirts is making a difference through recycling in the city of Lagos in Nigeria.
Wecyclers: everybody knows them is Lagos and recognizes them by their purple t-shirts. They are a remarkable enterprise offering convenient waste collection services to over 15000 households and enterprises in Lagos through a team of cargo riders and waste sorters.
Brother and sister Wale and Billikis Adebibi Abiola are the masterminds behind the activity, the idea originating from a business course on Venture Development at the MIT and then turned into practice and tailored on waste management needs in Nigeria. To use Billikiss’s words, the mission Wecyclers is pursuing is to “Free communities from their waste and put it back into the recycling value chain”.
Over the years Wecyclers and their purple hallmark have gained trust among the communities living in degraded and densely-populated areas of Lagos without any form of formal waste collection. Their activity is significantly contributing to public health in these areas, by keeping the general environment clean and preventing disease and road obstruction.
Currently Wecyclers collects about 1000 tons of PET plastic a year and runs on an incentive-based system where points can be converted in gifts or small sums of money. Sorted and compacted plastic bottles are sold to the local recycling industry. Wecyclers is also experimenting a kiosk system in rural areas where population density is lower.