Africa

Meet the Wecyclers

Updated 0931 GMT (1731 HKT) May 29, 2014
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Wecyclers is a Lagos-based startup using an incentive-based program to deal with the waste problem in Lagos, the Nigerian megacity where more than 18 million people live. PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images/file
Launched by Nigerian entrepreneur Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola a year and a half ago, the company has now some 5,000 households subscribed to its service. Courtesy Wecyclers
Using a fleet of low-cost cargo bicycles, the startups collects the waste from local people and then sells it on to recycling factories. Courtesy Wecyclers
Households that subscribe to Wecyclers have waste collected once a week, and the service is free. Courtesy Wecyclers
In order to encourage people to sort rubbish, the company gives them points which they can redeem for items like blenders, irons or soaps every three months. Courtesy Wecyclers
At the moment, most rewards come from donations as the company is yet to turn a profit: "We hope that as we grow and add value to the material we sell then we hope to see profits come in - but now, we are not making profits," says Adebiyi-Abiola. Courtesy Wecyclers
Abiola says that her incentive for starting the company has been a desire to improve the living conditions of people in low-income areas. Courtesy Linguini
The entrepreneur was the laureate of the Cartier Women's Initiative Award last year. Courtesy Wecyclers
Wecyclers currently employs 31 people, but Abiola is dreaming big: "In 10 years I want Wecyclers to be the biggest recycling company in Nigeria," she says. Courtesy Wecyclers