Lagos State Government, on Saturday, appealed to residents to imbibe the culture of sorting household wastes through reuse, reduction and recycling.
Mrs Belinda Odeneye, Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, made the plea in a keynote address delivered during the Clean-up exercise at the Yaba Market.
The exercise was organised by the African Clean-up Initiatives (ACI), with the support of the Coca-Cola Foundation.
Odeneye, who was represented by Mrs Tosin Oguntola said the waste to wealth programme was of great importance to the state government.
“As critical stakeholders, all residents should subscribe to reusable products in their households.
“We must develop the concept that sees refuse as a resource,’’ Odeneye said.
The permanent secretary said the new concept of waste disposal required environmental education.
According to her, effective waste management requires a paradigm shift in the collective quest for environmental sustainability.
“We must partner with the Lagos state government toward ensuring a clean and hygienic environment.’’
In her goodwill message, Ms Amaka Onyemelukwe, Director of Public Affairs, Communication and Sustainability, the Coca-Cola foundation noted that the Global Recycling Day was marked on Thursday with emphasis on celebrating recycling heroes.
Onyemelukwe said that the foundation believed in a world without waste.
According to her, plastic bottles are not wastes but are resources.
“Used bottles can actually pay somebody’s school fees.
“As a company, Coca-Cola will continue to partner with NGOs in ensuring that our environment is clean and sustainable,’’ Onyemelukwe said.
On his part, Mr Akinbolu Ayobami, Head, Recycling Central, Lagos State Waste Management Agency (LAWMA) remarked that waste generation was a universal phenomenon.
Ayobami said that Lagos state generated between 12,000 and 14,000 metric tonnes of waste daily because of its large population.
According to him, waste generation is a reflection of people’s attitudes.
“Plastics are not wastes, they are resources.
“Recycling means business; when you recycle, you clean the environment and make money,’’ Ayobami said.
Mr Adam Munnir, Project Manager ACI, Lagos residents should take ownership of everything that goes around in the environment.
He urged them to imbibe the culture of recycling and stop the indiscriminate dumping of refuse.
He expressed gratitude to the Coca-Cola Foundation for always being supportive of ACI in ensuring environmental sustainability.