Trash is synonymous to waste. Simply put, Waste is anything that people do not value anymore and would love to throw away. Waste is the empty box that contained the new television set you just got or the paper bag you used to carry the stuff you bought at the supermarket.
By Nyem Eteri
These things are now waste because you have no further need for them and would like to dispose them.
However, waste isn’t entirely useless because there are people and businesses that will pay to have them in order to make even more money out of them.
Nigeria is home to 201 million People. Nigeria is characterized by thousands of small family-run workshops interspersed with residences, schools, and stores, churches, mosques, industries, various offices, etc.
This population is responsible for producing tens of millions of tons of discarded TVs, cell phones, batteries, computer monitors, plastics, cloths, papers and every kind of waste each year.
Nigeria generates an estimated 32 million tons of solid waste per year, one of the highest amounts in Africa. The amount of waste we produce will keep increasing because; The country’s population is estimated to double by 2050 and Increasing population means that there are more people on the planet to create waste that would hang around our planet, new lifestyle changes, such as eating fast food, means that we create additional waste that isn’t biodegradable.
The management of waste is a matter of national and international concern. The volume of waste does not actually constitute the problem but the ability or inability of governments, individuals and waste disposal firms to keep up with the task of managing waste and the environment. There is no doubt that a dirty environment affects the standard of living, aesthetic sensibilities, health of the people and thus the quality of their lives.
The importance of changing old material to new give economic significance in the recycling company in the world today, recycling is the process of converting waste materials into new materials and objects. It is an alternative to “conventional” waste disposal that can save material and help lower greenhouse gas emissions (compared to plastic production, for example) The generation and disposal of waste is an intrinsic part of any developing or industrial society. Recycling is one of the best ways for you to have a positive impact on the world in which we live.
While it may not be one of the most popular business ideas out there, a few smart Africans are already building wealth from waste and creating jobs for hundreds of Africans. The success of these inspiring entrepreneurs proves that there can be profitable business ideas unlikely and niche parts of Africa. It’s such a brilliant idea that profits both your business and the environment at the same time.
This is why we celebrate green champions like Mr. Abubakar Sani CEO of Transabu Nig. Company ltd. who’s recycling plant gives an opportunity to about 44 young men and women to make ends meet, pay bills and sustain their families. The workers on the plant earn their wages per kilo by manually southing and separating colors of plastic waste. There is a baling machine at the plant used to compress and cut the plastic bottles to make them easier to transport to Kanu where the recycling takes place.
Poor quality seeds, pest damage and weak demand can be attributed to the slump in cotton production in Nigeria; hence cotton is no more available for fabric production. Plastic bottles are now used in place of cotton to make most of the fabrics we put on. Yes, it’s true. Most of the recycled polyester we use originates from plastic water and soda bottles. While it sounds pretty unbelievable that a hard drinking container can turn into soft fabric, it’s actually a relatively simple process” Mr Sani made us understand. Plastics can also be melted and formed into amazing range of new and reusable products like bags and travelling boxes.
He also said that the market does not accept plain colors, so those plain colors are sent back to LAFAG as they have need for them.
The bottle caps are removed and recycled into house hold utensils like plates, cups, plastic hangers, buckets and so on.
Mr. Sani said that “five tons of waste is crushed everyday at TransAbu, we buy waste papers from government offices here in Abuja and export to Lagos for recycling. This usually make up a large portion of the waste collected. Waste paper (like newspapers, magazines, cardboard and old books) can be recycled. It is an upcycling process of turning paper back into wood, paper bags, cardboard and carbon boxes for new electronic equipment.”
The advantages of recycling paper include saving energy, water and landfill space. Paper recycling reduces greenhouse gas emissions and the recycled fiber is a sustainable, cost-saving resource for making new paper products.
Finally we were made to understand that he faced little or no challenges starting the business as they enjoy up to 20hours of uninterrupted power supply per day at the plant. He encouraged more young people to indulge in this gold mine and stop waiting for the government to give them jobs. There are a number of opportunities entrepreneurs can explore in Africa’s large and growing waste market, he said. He also urged the government to sensitize the general public about how lucrative the business is and get people involved and also lend their support.
The number of entrepreneurs and businesses involved in waste management in Africa will increase quite rapidly in the future. As resources like wood become scarcer and climate change remains a strong global challenge, Africans will need to reduce waste and recycle more. Waste is everywhere; it only requires a bit of creativity and hard work to create wealth out of it.