From Communauté de la Fabrique des Mobilités



Short description: WeCyclers is an innovative startup that brings domestic waste collection and treatment to Nigeria through a fleet of cargo-bikes and a waste sorting hub.

Full description: The problem: In Nigeria, only 40% of waste materials are collected and 13% recycled. This means that everyday 10,000 tonnes of litter piles up in the city streets which leads to a number of health issues and the rapid spread of diseases for the population living in slums near those open landfill sites. This situation is not specific to Nigeria as many African countries are also experiencing the same challenge.

The solution: WeCyclers is an innovative startup that brings domestic waste collection and treatment to Nigeria through a fleet of cargo-bikes and a waste sorting hub.

State of development: Launched in 2012, WeCyclers is a rewards-for-recycling platform that incentivizes people in low-income communities to capture value from recyclable waste. It was built on a fleet of relatively cheap, and locally assembled, cargo bikes called “WeCyclers” that collectors use to pick up recyclable waste from households and deliver the materials to the collection, sorting, and packaging hubs located around Lagos. Wecyclers offers convenient household recycling service using a fleet of low-cost cargo bikes. The startup is powering social change using the environment by allowing people in low-income communities to capture value from their waste. In September 2019, WeCyclers signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Nestlé to settle to extend the plastics collection and recycling process by setting up more collection sites across Lagos.

Business Model: To create incentives among low-income households to participate, rewards are given to them for every kilogram recycled, via points sent by SMS. These points are then redeemable against goods they value, such as cell phone minutes or basic food items. The rewards have been funded in partnership with big brands such as Coca Cola and GlaxoSmithKline.

Ambitions: WeCyclers aims to build a low-cost waste collection infrastructure while raising general awareness on the importance of recycling for environmental sustainability and social welfare gained from reduction in pollution and diseases like malaria.

Achievements: WeCyclers now offers waste collection and recycling services to the Lagos informal settlements, where an estimated 66% of Lagosians live with over $3.9M in estimated revenue annually. WeCyclers also won the 2018-2019 King Baudoin African Development Prize and regularly attend to workshops on Waste Management (ex: Plastic Waste Management Policy Workshop).

In the context of waste management in Africa: According to UN reports, only 10% of garbage disposal is collected throughout the African continent and what's left is generally burnt or littered. WeCyclers is changing this in Nigeria.

Appreciation: WeCyclers gives low-income communities in developing countries a chance to capture value from waste and clean up their neighborhoods through an incentive- based recycling program.

To know more: https://impactlabs.mit.edu/sites/default/files/documents/Wecyclers%20Presentation.pdf http://www.lionessesofafrica.com/lioness-bilikiss-adebiyi-abiola https://www.kbs-frb.be/en/Newsroom/Press-releases/2019/20190612NDKBPrize

Text prepared by Joseph Semuju

Tags: recyclage, Movin'On LAB Africa (OMA)

Fabmob member:

Theme: Logistique urbaine, Africa


Website: http://wecyclers.com/

Creation date: 2012

Countries of deployment: Nigeria

Cities of deployment: Lagos

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Type: Entreprise, Startup



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Community(ies) of interest: Communauté des acteurs en Afrique

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