How Nigerian University Graduate Turn Waste To Wealth

Thirty-one year old Ade Ogunbowale, a graduate of Mechanical Engineering from one of the universities in the country shared his success story as a scavenger withEbun Sessouin a 30-minute interactive session in Oko-Afa area of Isolo, Lagos State recently.

Ogunbowale could not secure a job after his B.Sc degree and joined the legion of unemployed graduates three years ago. According to him, he carved a niche for himself and became a scavenger at a dump site in Oko-Afa.

Narrating the success story of how he makes a living for himself and sponsors his siblings, he said, “I pick up plastic bottles that litter the streets along my way as well as metals to make a living. Although, most people see the job as dirty, I am feeding my family from it”.

According to him, “There are several people the trade helps.

“Waste recycling is a business that if you decide to go into it today, you are sure of making money. The fun of it is that you might even decide to start now with nothing and still make more money from the business,” Ogunbowale said.

He explained that, “most of the scavengers pick used materials at various dump sites and elsewhere. They look out for objects that include glass, paper, metal, plastic, textiles and electronics.

“The materials are then taken to a collection centre where they are sorted, cleaned and reprocessed into materials bound for manufacturing”, he added.

His words: “Recycling of such materials would produce fresh supply of the same material. For example, used office paper can be converted into making a new office paper just as used polystyrene can be converted into making new polystyrene.

“But recycling of waste is just picking up in the country as a new business model and it surely offers lots of opportunity.

For instance, one benefit of recycling is that it saves resources. Also, to recycle waste is to simply reduce pollution. By recycling plastic material we can reduce air pollution as well as water pollution”, he said.

VNTI Publications

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