The Association of Waste Managers Nigeria (AWAMN) says at present less than 10 per cent of waste generated in Lagos State is being recycled.
The President of the association, Dr David Oriyomi, said this in Lagos on Friday night, during the the association’s Award/Gala Night, with the theme: ”Making Circular Economy A Reality”.
Oriyomi said that there was the need for collaboration with other stakeholders in order to accelerate the rate of recycling in the state.
He said that looking to the future, “Waste cannot continue to be buried in the dumpsites, due to the effects this method could have in future”.
According to him, there is the need to make the concept of circular economy a reality, and the association has produced a paper and has started taking steps toward the implementation.
”Our first objective is to promote reduction of waste being generated.
“The concept that waste being a resource can be misleading and promote the increase of the volume of waste being generated, if not placed in the right perspective.
“Waste is only a resource if it is properly collected and channeled towards reuse or recycling. This comes at a cost, and it must be viable as a business for it to be sustainable.
“Currently, less than 10 per cent of waste generated in Lagos state is being recycled; through genuine collaboration with other stakeholders we can accelerate the rate of recycling
”We need to invest in the appropriate infrastructure and all hands must be on deck. Our priority must be to save our environment, as we are in danger of having more plastics than fish in the oceans.
”We clearly must have a rethink and producers must take more responsibilities and the government must continue to play its role as a regulator and a protector of the public interest,” he said.
Oriyomi called on the government to invest in Sanitary Engineered Landfills, Waste to Compost, and Waste to Energy, so as to save the environment.
He said that while it was recognised that such investment was capital intensive, there was still the urgent need to invest in Sanitary Engineered Landfills, Waste to Compost, and Waste to Energy, to combat the negative effect of climate change.
“As we come to the end of Year 2022, we have every reason to thank God and celebrate one another and with one another.
“No doubt, Year 2022 has been challenging one especially with the hyper inflationary increase in diesel cost, exchange rate, interest rate and general overhead, which saw our operational cost increase tremendously
“Thank God for the surviving spirit, though, most of us are flaccid, we have hope for a better and brighter future,” the AWAMN president said.
In his goodwill message, the Managing Director, Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Mr Ibrahim Odumboni, said that in spite the downturn experienced in 2022, the waste managers had performed well.
”We saw a lot of progress in terms of our capacity building.
“The volume of truck and investment we made this year has been second to none. Now we can proudly boast that our PSPs have over 1,000 genuine trucks among themselves,” Odumboni said.
The Ogun State Commissioner for Environment, Dr Ola Oresanya, said that the waste managers were the key for the sustainability of waste management because they were the private sector involved in the business.
“If you are not delivering value, this business would have died.
“Basically, you are delivering values to government and to the people of the state. That is why this business is still on and I pray it continues to be on.
“It is organic, it is natural, it is real, and that is why it is sustainable,” Oresanya said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that awards were given to the Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello (Lifetime Merit Award) and the CEO of FCMB, Mrs Yemisi Edun (The Amicus of the Environment).
Others who received awards included the MD of LAWMA, Mr Ibrahim Odumboni (Sui Generis Award); Mr Desmond Elliot (Advocate of the Environment), among others awardees. (NAN)