IMPACT IS GOLDEN IN RECYCLING BUSINESS – Chioma Ukonu

Gloria Ikegbule & Solomon Eko  

 

Do you know your waste, that thing you throw away when you don’t need again, is considered valuable by recycling companies? Its amazing right, as you wonder what they possibly will be doing with it. In this brief chat with Retink Media, Mrs. Chioma Ukonu, winner of the Chivas Ventures Social-Entrepreneurship Competition the Co-founder/COO, Recycle Points at her Yaba office said the company derives joy and fulfillment enabling consumers create value from their everyday waste. More so, the company and her customers enjoy social benefits exchanging their waste. Enjoy her gist as she explains why we should embrace recycling.

 

What is Recycling?

This is the act of collecting and converting our waste into a new product.

 

What Does Recycle Points Do?

Recycle Points is a waste recycling and social benefit venture that enables post consumers create value from their everyday waste. We run an incentive scheme which we collect pure water sachet, aluminum can, corrugated brown carton, pet bottles, glass bottles, old newspapers and in turn reward with points when accrued is  used to redeem a wide range of household items and cash.

 

Is Waste Recycling Essential In Nigeria?

In Nigeria, waste recycling is essential because it does not only contribute to a clean environment but also makes the social economic situation in the country better. Nigeria generates at least 0.5kg of waste per capita per day and we have attained about 180 million people – you, do the math (Smiles).

So, anything that can help the government reduce this Herculean task is highly welcomed and that is what we are doing – stopping the cycle of recyclable waste ending up at the dumpsite where they are burnt, green house emission taking place giving rise to climate change. We try to harvest these waste directly from post consumers before they get co-mingled. Doing this, we have been able to use waste recycling to address some key social concern in the society. The impact of our activity is focused on women empowerment, youth employment, community engagement and ultimately environmental sustainability.

 

In Nigeria, Is The Recycling Industry Saturated?

No, it is not saturated. Currently, largely recycling is carried out by the informal sector in Nigeria. But today, the formal sector is having a goal at waste recycling. We are welcoming as many people as possible interested in the business because of the high volume in our waste generation. We encourage more people to come on board. All hand must be on deck if we are to achieve our SDG goal 12 –

 

What Makes Recycling Business Thrive In This Industry?

Waste recycling is a social enterprise and for you to thrive, impact has to count. The question is – what impact are you making? People have to see the impact you are making. It has to be felt by the everyday man. You have to be impact driven, inculcate best practices as much as possible, and above all you have to be profitable to be sustainable.

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