Recycling as a Gamification Business in Lagos
Since August, 4 creatively modified bicycles have been making the rounds of Lagos in just one neighborhood, cleaning up and recycling 5 tons of trash.
Wecyclers.com is a partnership between Billikiss Abiola (Nigeria) and Jonathan Kola (Kenya) to get people in Lagos to recycle aluminum and plastic. They do this using modified bicycles, welded to a trailer, making a tricycle that can carry large bags of sorted waste. Each bike costs approximately $500 to build, though those prices will come down as they start ramping up across the city.
I asked Billikus how they get people to recycle sachet’s (the little bags that water is sold in on the streets of Lagos), as well as plastic bottles and aluminum cans.
She explained the system, which is a partnership between Wecyclers and Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA). People are encouraged to recycle their trash using a system that tallies up the kilos of each type in a database, and then using a simple SMS system to keep people abreast of their score. One kilo of plastic is worth 10 points, one kilo of aluminum is worth 20 points. Once every three months they have a big event where you can redeem your points for items. The people with the most points get prizes.
Their other key partnership is with large corporates, like Coca Cola, who’s CSR arm sponsored the prizes and underwrote the costs of the event, giving out items like raincoats, backpacks, pens, notebooks and water bottles.