Cleaner Environment: Sanwo-Olu Launches Blue Boxes
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Thursday launched the Blue Box for waste products.
The Blue Box Programme is a single stream recyclable collection programme that will encourage separation of recyclable materials from the general waste at the point of generation. Sanwo-Olu, stressed on the huge population in Lagos , which have generated over 10,000 metric tonnes of waste daily, need to desist from the old method of waste deposite but adopt the Blue box method.
He said 50 percent of waste generated in the state could be recycled to generate income for the populace, as being done in several parts of the world, stressing that LAWMA was saddled with the task of driving a circular economy.Sanwo-Olu stated that the bulk of recyclable materials harvested by scavengers were contaminated and unable to pass quality test thereby denying recyclers value for material, stressing that this was what led to the Blue Box initiative, for waste sorting and recycling.
The governor said the programme would kick-off on Saturday with two pilot schemes in Surulere and Victoria Island, as well as some designated estates in the state. While urging the PSP operators to key into the programme, he added that LAWMA had begun registration of recyclers for the programme, urging them to work with the Local Governments and Community Development Associations, CDAs for the success of the programme.
He noted further that the target of the programme was for the state to capture 50 percent of recyclable waste by 2021, as well as create green economy and income for the people.
In same vein , the honourable Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello, noted that the programme was in pursuit of theadministration’s mantra of creating a cleaner Lagos, adding that in recent time,He disclosed that the governor mandated LAWMA to come up with the idea of the Blue Box Recycling Programme, that would encourage dropping trash into the appropriate boxes according to characterization, adding that the governor went a step further to facilitate production and donation of the bags being distributed.
“The Blue Box Programme is a single stream recyclable collection program that will encourage separation of recyclable materials from the general waste at the point of generation. We are all now aware that we must keep our waste in containers at home.
“Now, we are advising that we should have two containers- a black container for waste, and blue container for recyclables. To kick-off the Blue Box programme, we are distributing these color-coded recycling bags to each household through franchised recyclers for separation of recyclables. The bags would be collected on designated dates by the assigned recycler and transported to the sorting hubs within the area at designated days of the week.
“Respective recycling companies who are franchise holders, would come to pick up the boxes. Colour-coded bags will be distributed by recyclers and Environmental volunteer corps who will educate and encourage participation and also collate data on field.
“The collected recyclables will then be transported to the Community Recycling Centre in that area, for further sorting and sale to off-takers,” he explained.
Gbadegesin said as a way of encouraging compliance, LAWMA would promote the sorting culture with a reward system, saying that participatory households would accumulate coupons distributed by the franchisee which would be exchanged with several redeemable options, which included but not limited to reduction in amount paid for waste bills.
The LAWMA MD said the benefits of the programme included capturing about 50 percent of recyclables upstream with zero tolerance for scavenging by June 2021; attracting major investors, creating green jobs, re-orientating and re-integrating scavengers as resource managers at the Community Recycling centers.
Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, wife of the governor , noted that the Blue box programme would help deepen the culture of sorting during waste generation, adding that it would enhance zero waste initiative of the government, while charging women to key into the programme as waste sorting starts from the kitchen.