Business and EconomySMEs and Ventures

Lagos based Waste management startup Wecyclers receives $227,000 to scale its operations

Lagos based waste management startup Wecyclers has received the $227,000 King Baudouin Foundation  African Development Prize award to scale in Nigeria. The Prize will allow Wecyclers to develop further their business and increase their impact at national and international levels.

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 municipal government. WeCyclers’ model is designed to help fill this gap and reduce solid waste in the street of Lagos, improving both the environment and the wellbeing of populations.

The startup uses low and high technology solutions to collect waste. The technology comprises SMS technology and a mobile application, as well as low-cost collection vehicles, which collect recyclable waste directly from households to sell to recycling plants before being made into new products.

“We are proud to recognise Wecyclers for their very effective model,” Hervé Lisoir from the King Baudouin Foundation said. “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.”

Wecyclers will use the new funding to upscale their model and increase their footprint, with plans to expand in Lagos, other Nigerian cities and neighbouring countries. The Prize will also provide access to a wide network of global stakeholders in Europe and the US. With current growth projections, Wecyclers aims to collect 5,000 tons of recyclables by 2020 and could be serving 500,000 households by 2023.

“Giving back to the community is in the DNA of Wecyclers. We want to expand our business to other neighbourhoods. In the midterm, 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 Wecyclers said.

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