The Kwara Government says it is establishing a waste to wealth recycling plant in the state.
Commissioner for Environment, Mrs Remilekun Banigbe, made this known during an interview on Wednesday, July 27, 2022, in Ilorin, the state capital.
She said the state government planned a Public Private Partnership (PPP) in which an interested group would manage the recycling aspect of waste generated in the state.
Banigbe further said that a professional would be engaged, just like someone who recently showed interest in recycling waste in the state.
“We talked about how he will set up a recycling plant, as some of them already have the plan to do so.
“Some go into plastic recycling, while others are into cardboard recycling, because the dump site cannot be left like that, as it is supposed to be an asset and not liability,” she said.
The commissioner said that the state government has a lot to do in order to transform waste to wealth and waste to energy.
“We plan to partner with reliable professionals very soon, as some scavengers are already visiting dump sites to pick valuable items and sell to generate money for themselves,” she said.
Banigbe recalled that the ministry had a meeting with some people who worked at dump sites, though they did not remit anything to the state, but specialised in the business for their daily income.
“We spoke on the security challenges associated with scavengers, especially at this crucial time, when some people disguise as scavengers to steal and commit various offences.
“We were made to understand that each scavenger has those they work with and they could be easily identified.
“Also, the scavengers recognised themselves well and so when they see new faces they will boldly challenge them and may even raise alarm,” she said.
The commissioner further said that they have partnered with security agencies to caution scavengers from misbehaving.
“Civil Defence and Police have been very helpful in curbing the excesses of scavengers and they have arrested some of them on different occasions for committing crimes.
“Many communities have also been proactive in stopping the scavengers from moving freely in their areas, through local vigilantes and voluntary service, except for those that they had known in the business,” she said.
Banigbe assured that when the state eventually has a recycling plant, some of the scavengers would be employed and it would also provide employment opportunity for more people in the state.
By Mujidat Oyewole