Green Cycle – Changing attitudes towards waste in Nigeria


Green Cycle believes that waste management must play an integral role in sustainable development.

It is essential that our economies become more circular to ensure material security for our future and to alleviate poverty, especially in rapidly growing, industrialising cities such as Lagos. Better resource management is needed to improve the efficiency of our use of energy and materials and to increase recovery of secondary materials, reducing waste as well as demand for primary extraction.

Green Cycle also believes that our resource industries should be more inclusive. We feel that engaging communities and building capacity for local enterprise is at the core of a sustainable and fair solution. Our activities will focus on educating and empowering young people to better manage resources and tackle waste problems.

More important than the economic losses of our waste is the damage on public health and the environment. Billions suffer from the effects of poor water and air quality due to inadequate sanitation and inefficient waste management systems (or no provision of waste management at all). It further shows the imbalance in our society that the negative effect of humanity’s vast consumption is pushed on the poor who have no access to many resources and receive little benefit from their use.

The concept of a circular economy is important in that it helps us to visualise a resource cycle in which waste could be avoided. Eradicating waste is a long-term goal which may not be entirely possible, however, any progress towards a circular economy such as closing material loops and generating energy from organic wastes will show significant financial, environmental and social gains.

Green Cycle aims to become the first formal electronic waste recycler in Nigeria. E-waste is a hazardous waste that due to current methods of material recovery is causing serious environmental and public health damage. The area in Accra where Ghana’s informal sector tackles the waste stream, called Agbobloshie, is one of the most polluted sites on the planet. Nigeria is generating over a million tonnes annually, whilst Africa’s production is expected to triple within a decade and will be higher than that of the EU. Although the situation sounds intimidating, this waste holds an opportunity. Electronics contain precious and semi-precious metals which provide the economic incentive for effectively recycling that can efficiently retrieve the value and prevent toxic materials from polluting the environment.

As a transparent organisation that has environmental and social development at it’s heart, Green Cycle has the opportunity to achieve measurable social impact and to show the economic and environmental potential for being resource efficient, helping to pioneer a private sector waste management industry and develop local green enterprises.



Green Cycle - Changing attitudes towards waste in Nigeria