Nigerian Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola returned home to Nigeria to co-found a waste recycling company, Wecyclers, and her vision is enormous. To transform the lives of people with garbage, create jobs, and help build the economy of her beloved motherland, Nigeria.
Wecyclers gives households a chance to capture value from their waste while providing a reliable supply of materials to the local recycling industry. Wecyclers works in partnership with the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) and collects recyclable waste, including plastic bottles, plastic bags, and aluminum cans, at the household level using low-cost bicycle-powered collection vehicles called “wecycles”.
The wecycles are designed and manufactured locally and are operated by youth from local communities. The wecycle operators cover specific neighborhood collection routes to collect material from households. At collection, operators weigh each household’s materials. The weight of material that each household recycles is entered into the Wecyclers’ SMS points platform to automatically generate a personalized SMS. Wecyclers rewards households with redeemable points based on the volume and quality of recyclables that they give them. Wecyclers has registered over 5,000 households for our collection service, built 29 operational collection cargo bikes and collected over 300 metric tons of recyclable materials. Wecyclers has developed strategic partnerships with leading companies including the Nigerian Bottling Company, DHL and Coca-Cola.
Wecyclers is the recipient of multiple awards, including, the Cartier Women’s Initiative Award, Tech Award, Echoing Green Fellowship, MIT D-lab Scale-ups fellowship, MIT IDEAS Venture Grant, Yunus Challenge Prize at the MIT IDEAS Global Challenge Competition, Carroll Wilson Fellowship and is a Sustainia100 company. [Their] work has been highlighted in The Economist, CNN, Al Jazeera, The Punch, BBC, Marie Claire Magazine, New African Woman, The Independent among others. (Source: Huffington Post).