Tadej Znidarcic is a photographer born in Ljubljana, Slovenia, where he received a university degree in physics. He is a graduate of the International Center of Photography in New York City. In addition to being a photographer, Tadej is also a...
Wecyclers customer brings a broken plastic chair and other recyclables to the Berger hub in Ebute Metta. Plastic is weighed and the amounts of different materials are recorded. Customers collect points that they can then redeem for cash or household items.
Ayoola Rafiat Oluwabunmi, facility manager at Wecyclers Berger hub in Ebute Metta, studied environmental microbiology. She completed her industrial training at the Berger hub and now oversees a team of around 25 young workers.
Morgan Samson Akintubosun, manager of collecting operations at the Wecyclers' Berger hub in Ebute Metta, stands next to a tricycle filled with recyclables collected in the area. He appreciates that they're creating employment opportunities and that people's lives have changed through recycling.
Broken modified bicycles that collectors use are stored in a room at Wecyclers Berger hub in Ebute Metta. Bicycles often brake down due to uneven and potholed roads. If equipment wasn't regularly breaking down, Wecyclers could collect even more materials.
Bintu Adetona collects recyclables to “get the rewards and keep the environment clean”. In addition to earning money from waste they used to throw away, residents benefit from cleaner environment - gutters that are not blocked by trash are less likely to be breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Trash is seen in the gutter and next to the gutter in Shomolu neighborhood. Plastic bottles, bags, paper and other trash often end in gutters, blocking them, thereby creating breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Wecyclers collectors Idowu Adetunji (right) and Julius Adeyemi weigh collected plastic bottles while Morgan Samson Akintubosun (left), manager of collecting operations at the Wecyclers' Berger hub, monitors their work.
Remi Olaleye stand in front of the recyclables he has delivered to Wecyclers Berger hub in Ebute Metta. He holds a card where the amounts of recyclables he has collected are recorded. Older people mostly take responsibility for recycling. They are more often at home and they collect materials from several households in multi-family houses.
Workers collect recyclables at Wecyclers main office on Lagos Island. When people in the neighborhood learned they can make money from plastic bottles they started to bring them to the office. Bottles are stored in the courtyard and later transported to recycling hubs.
Isiah Esilokun, supervisor crusher at Olusosun facility, used to work in printing and at a petrol station. His job is to oversee the crushing of plastic bottles. Now that he works in recycling, he's also started collecting his household recyclables for sale.
Wecycler's founder and former CEO Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola started Wecyclers while studying at MIT Sloan School of Management. She wanted to tackle Lagos' waste management problem as well as find solutions that will address the needs of the poor.
Each day residents of Lagos, Nigeria - the largest city in Africa with a population of over 20 million - produce 14,000 tons of waste. Only 40% of the waste is formally collected. What's not scavenged and sold to middle men ends up in gutters, channels and finally, the ocean. In a few neighborhoods of Lagos, an innovative social enterprise called Wecyclers is working on changing people's mindsets about waste management. They encourage residents to collect recyclables - plastic, paper and cans - for which they accumulate points redeemable for household items or cash. Collected materials are sorted at Wecyclers' facilities and sold to recycling companies. Currently, Wecyclers provides employment to approximately 200 mostly young men and women and processes about 3 tons of waste per day. It might not be much in this mega city of millions, but it's nevertheless significant for people participating in the program. In addition to earning money from waste they used to throw away, residents benefit from cleaner environment - gutters that are not blocked by trash are less likely to be breeding ground for mosquitoes.