Wecyclers is fueling social change for the environment by incentivizing people in low-income communities to capture value from recyclable waste in Lagos, Nigeria.

Wecyclers harnesses the power of communities using a crowdsourced, rewards-for-recycling platform to reclaim urban neighborhoods from unmanaged waste. Wecyclers uses a fleet of low-cost cargo bicycles, which they call ‘wecycles’, to offer a convenient household recycling collection service in densely populated low-income neighborhoods in Lagos, Nigeria. The recycling is then sorted at central depots, and the different materials are sold to recycling companies. In doing so, Wecyclers provides low-income youth with employment opportunities as collectors and sorters.

“We are helping low-income households capture value from the waste that exists all around them.”

Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola – Co-Founder and CEO, Wecyclers

Families who recycle their waste receive redeemable Wecyclers points over their mobile phone through an SMS-based incentive program. These points can then be used to buy goods they value, such as cell phone minutes, basic food items and household goods. With over 10,000 registered households and organizations, Wecyclers have diverted more than 1,000 tons of recyclable waste from landfills into productive reuse.

Why you should care

People living in slum conditions are subject to increased risks of infectious diseases, and live with the psychological stress that results from unmanaged waste heaps. This innovative household collection service reduces the amount of recyclable waste that ends up in landfills and neighborhoods. Wecyclers improves the lives of youth and households in the slums of Lagos by providing them with a way to capture economic, social and health benefits from their waste.

How the Global Goals are addressed

No Poverty

For those without an occupation or income, the unskilled but paid work that Wecyclers offers can be enough to lift individuals and families out of poverty.

Decent Work and Economic Growth

The waste collection service is provided on a micro-franchise basis enabling entrepreneurs to  own and run a cargo bicycle collection service as a business.

Responsible Consumption and Production

Encouraging all members of society to recycle helps to turn waste products into raw materials for new production, creating a more responsible consumer environment.

Life Below Water

Eight million tons of plastic waste are estimated to end up in the oceans every year. Collecting and recycling waste plastic stops it from polluting water-ways and harming aquatic life.