Nigerian Startup, Wecyclers wins €200,000 prize for waste management

Wecyclers, a waste recycling company based in Lagos, has won the 2019 King Baudouin  African Development Prize worth 200,000 Euros (104 million naira) for its development work in Africa.

According to a statement issued by the King Baudouin Foundation, Wecyclers was selected for its economic impact.

“By rewarding citizens with “points”, it allows low-income communities to capture value from their waste, and redeem points for household goods, food items or cash aiding daily life.

“Today, the company already benefits from the engagement of over 17k subscribers in 7 localities in Lagos. It registers around 200 new members each month. The Nigerian start-up has also created 200 jobs in 7 years, with a focus on women, who currently account for 60% of their workforce,” the statement reads.

We are proud to recognise Wecyclers for their very effective model. The independent Selection committee selected the enterprise out of 244 applications for its innovative approach to engaging the community, turning recycling into an economic driver for communities and turning citizens into agents of change.”

Hervé Lisoir, Coordinator Africa and Developing countries, King Baudouin Foundation.

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WeCyclers was chosen as the winner out of 244 applications for its development work in Nigerian communities. An awards ceremony will be held at the Royal Palace in Brussels, Belgium on June 12, 2019, in the presence of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium.

Wecyclers’ workers in Lagos, Nigeria

Olawale Adebiyi, CEO of WeCylcers, said, “Giving back to the community is in the DNA of WeCyclers. We want to expand our business to other neighbourhoods. In the mid-term, we want to be big enough to build our own recycling plant. Growing more for WeCyclers means being able to give back even more to the community.

Olawale Adebiyi, CEO of WeCylcers

By 2100 Africa will account for 5 out of 10 biggest cities in the world, and Lagos could be the biggest city in the world. Today, Lagos residents generate 15,000 tons of waste per day, of which only 40% is collected by the municipal government. It is on this model that WeCyclers is designed to help fill the gap and reduce solid waste in the streets of Lagos, improving both the environment and the wellbeing of populations.

With current growth projections, WeCyclers aim to collect 5000 tons of recyclables by 2020 and could be serving 500,000 households by 2023.


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