Lagos, April 15, 2019 An Environmentalist, Mr Emmanuel Emechete, on Monday, harped on the difficulties encountered in recycling efforts in spite of the viability of the business in the country.
Emechete, also a recycling expert, said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that it required adequate planning to go into recycling.
According to him, recycling business is not a bed of roses as being painted by those in it.
“There are various challenges faced when delving into recycling business in Nigeria. I went into recycling first with an advocacy approach before going into it as a practice.
“The major challenge faced by anyone trying to go into collation of plastic bottles or other recyclables is the inability to get the items picked up to the recycling centres.
“Most recycling companies in the country give the impression of being available but after collating the recyclables, the problem is that there is nowhere to drop it off.
“It is either the available recycling centres are too far or they complain that the quantity of recyclables collected are few and so refuse to collect them.
“Recycling business in Nigeria is not as easy as it is being painted to be. It requires putting in extra effort and zeal to make it profitable,’’ Emechete said.
He said although Nigerians could make a viable source of livelihood from the business, they must put in more effort to make it work.
“An everyday Nigerian cannot just say I want to start recycling business without adequate planning. You have to store these recyclables in your home for a long time before it is picked up.
“If you do not have a pick up close to you, you have to find a way to convey the recyclables to a recycling hub, it is quite tasking.
“Unlike in other countries where you have designated collection centres at major malls across town. Recycling though viable, it is not that easy in Nigeria.
“I believe Nigerians can actually make a living from their recycling efforts but it still requires a lot of extra work. They have to invest time and resources to make it work.
“The recycling market in Nigeria is quite large; there are lots of waste out there that even the available recycling companies cannot even cover the market.
“Anybody that makes the sacrifice to invest time and effort in the recycling business, will have more gain than loss,’’ Emechete said.
He said that to make recycling work in the country requires the concerted efforts of both the recycling companies and the government.
“To make recycling work in the country; although is not entirely the duty of the sparse recycling companies but they also have a role to play as a social enterprise.
“The government can also play a great role by encouraging the recycling companies in cutting down levies. These companies pay to pick up recyclables.
“Apart from being businesses, these recycling companies are helping to solve social and environmental problems in their communities.
“Government should support these recycling efforts in any way they can by providing basic amenities needed to go about the business, ‘’ he said.