Source: The Guardian | by Athlyn Cathcart-Keays | 21 October 2015
Wecyclers began life as a student project – but Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola has since built it into a social enterprise that tackles the Nigerian capital’s waste crisis and empowers low-income communities to turn trash into cash.
As the most populous city in Africa, life in Lagos can present a number of urban challenges. Since 2004, Nigeria has seen a 5% increase in the number of people living below $1 per day, despite recently overtaking South Africa as the continent’s largest economy.
Of Lagos’s 18 million residents, 60% live in slum neighbourhoods that operate as informal, thriving cities of their own. But Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola, a born-and-raised Lagosian, has a plan to reconnect citizens to the megacity by linking them to out-of-reach municipal services, while also building a network through which community resilience can flourish....
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About Bilikiss Adebiyi
Bilikiss Adebiyi is an inspiring Nigerian social entrepreneur and founder of WeCyclers. Her company offers waste collection and recycling services to the Lagos informal settlements, where an estimated 66% of Lagosians live. As a part of the process, residents are offered an incentive for collecting their household waste which is picked up for free by Wecyclers using specially adapted bicycles. To create incentives among low-income households to participate, rewards are given to them for every kilogram recycled, via points sent by SMS. These points are then redeemable against goods they value, such as cell phone minutes or basic food items. The rewards have been funded in partnership with big brands such as Coca Cola and GlaxoSmithKline.