Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola

Laureate 2013

Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola

Wecyclers builds and manages a fleet of low-cost cargo-bicycles to collect recyclable waste in slums.

According to LAWMA, the Lagos Waste Management Authority, Nigeria's most populous city produces 10,000 metric tons of waste every day. 'Much of this is not collected,' says Bilikiss Adebiyi, the entrepreneur steering Wecyclers. Her company offers waste collection and recycling services to the city's informal settlements, where an estimated 66% of Lagosians live. 'City garbage trucks often can't reach them due to bad road conditions. They park in the vicinity and wait for people to bring their trash. Disposing of it becomes pot luck!'

All too often, the refuse is dumped in the street or in open gutters, where plastic bottles and aluminium cans are a particular hazard, explains Bilikiss. 'They block the gutters and cause stagnant water, which draws mosquitoes and malaria. When the rains come the water floods into people's homes: they can be knee-deep in dirty stagnant water.'