‘Trash for Education’ is an academic programme in Nigeria designed by the student organisation Green Campus Initiative rewarding trash collectors and recyclers with formal education.

Green Campus Initiative has developed an academic programme for The Green Institute Nigeria to reduce the environmental impact from waste management while creating value through employment and education in Nigeria. When contributors or participants submit waste or other unused materials, the Green Institute assesses the quality and issue educational credits in return. The Green Institute estimates to have saved around 5,000 tonnes of trash to date.

The Green Institute offers on-site and online degrees with academic programs in faculties of Sustainable Science and Technology, Sustainable Business and Entrepreneurship, and Sustainable Social Research and History. This allows for the students to attain skills and provide them with information needed for sustainable development employment opportunities. For example, the online course in Sustainable Science and Technology includes diverse classes in organic electronics, solar engineering, low-carbon technologies, virtual reality development etc.

Why you should care

‘Trash for education’ serves the dual purpose of alleviating the environmental impacts while providing education for people in Nigeria.

How the Global Goals are addressed

SDG4 Quality education

Quality education

‘Trash for Education’ provides a way into education for those who would otherwise not be able to afford it.

Sustainable cities and communities

Nigeria generates more than 32 million tons of solid waste annually, out of which only 20-30% is collected. ‘Trash for Education’ carries the potential to mitigate the  adverse environmental impacts from urban sprawl.