#BounceExclusive: Turning Lagos’ Trash Into Cash
In Lagos, the sights and smells of uncollected garbage could be mind boggling.
Piles of rubbish are returning to some streets, major highways and fun spots including playing grounds.
However, while we see waste as items to be cleared off to preserve the environment, some Nigerians are exhibiting their ingenuity by converting waste to monetary profit.
When Bounce News visited the scrap site in Oshodi, it was discovered that venturing into the scrap business is surprisingly profitable, helps create jobs while empowering young people.
"If you can gather metal, copper, or aluminum in good quantity through any reasonable means, be sure of good money. You wouldn’t even need to transport it because the companies you supply will come pick it themselves. Yours is to take your profit after sales. The scrap is measured in weight and each weight has a given price”, he said.
Hassan said wastes are usually sorted based on categories.
“For instance, a kilo gramme of polythene is sold for N30 to N50. You can gather and supply about 100kg to 300kg daily. Let’s say you are able to get just 100kg daily, you will be making N3,000. If only you can make N3,000 a day and work for only 20 days a month, you will be making N60,000. Is it not something worth living on?"
Three thousand Naira a day …it does not seem much, yet, over a year of three hundred and sixty-five days, this simple three thousand naira daily could amount to over a million Naira.
Bearing the minimum wage for a white collar job in Nigeria is pegged at N18,000
Checks by Bounce News revealed that one ton of metal costs between N35,000-N40,000; 10 tons or trailer-load costs N350,000-N400,000, while one ton of aluminum costs N130,000 and 10 tons cost N1,300,000.
Another dealer who simply identified himself as Jamiu told to Bounce News that apart from the metals that are being turned into scraps, these supposed waste products are picked freely at dumpsites.
“If you set out to gather them yourself, you will surely gather up to ten tons within a month and sell between N200,000 to 400,000 million, depending on the type of material you gathered”, Jamiu said.
According to him, anything called aluminum and iron metal scraps is a good deal.
Jamiu explained that anyone interested in doing the business without picking the metals by him/herself, can get some hands to assist by recruiting some young and others roaming the streets.
They will be engaged in scavenging for materials while "you pay them for their services based on performance".
Investigation by Bounce News revealed some companies buy these items in whole.
Some patrons of these scrap scavengers are members of Nigeria's growing metal recycling industry.
They have installed a state-of-the-art metal recycling and smelting plant in Ogun State.