Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
An NGO, “Developmental Association for Renewable Energy,” has embarked on collecting various waste plastic in Kaduna metropolis with the aim of recycling them into interlocking-tiles, blocks, and roofing-tiles, and so many other things for decorating houses, so as to protect the environment.
Chief Executive Officer of the organization, Engr. Yahaya Ahmed, during an interview with the press in Kaduna, north-western Nigeria, explained that the technology is the first of its kind in Nigeria and some parts of African countries.
Yahaya says, “This tried-and-tested new technique of turning waste plastic into interlocking-tiles, blocks and roofing-tiles is very low-cost and helps keep plastic waste out of the environment completely.
He said, “We have been with the idea for a long time on how to recycle the waste plastic that is disturbing our society and polluting the environment every day. We are in contact with our partner organization in Germany and United Kingdom, but the real idea comes from waste AID UK.
“Accordingly, we planned having them in Nigeria for training our people, but things were not ready at that time; so, they did the training in Cameroon and, after, they told us, there are good people in Cameroon that can come to Nigeria and train other interesting citizens, and it would be easy for us; and that is the reason why they sent one of them to come to Kaduna and train our people,” he said.
Yahaya pointed out clearly that the waste plastic interlocking-tiles is more stronger and everlasting than the normal interlock-blocks that are being sold in the markets.
According to him, it would take hundreds of years to decompose, because the interlocking tiles were being constructed with purely plastic waste, adding also that there is a market for the product.
He said, “We want to train many Nigerians in this new technology so as to reduce unemployment, fight poverty and reduce idleness among youth and other jobless graduates with street beggars, so as to engage them, in order to become self-employed in the future.
“We are targeting training 1000 unemployment youth, including women and unemployed graduates from various institutions across the 36 states of Nigeria.
“We buy the plastic and measure it in kilos and pay in cash to waste collectors and other scavengers.
“The plastic has a lot of impact to the community, environment, human health and even to agricultural land. That is why we are using our technology to recycle them and help Nigerians transformed them into money.
“We have started training many interested people, and we are hoping to see that those that received the training would also train other people, so as to spread the ideas across, in order to save our environment against all forms of environmental threat and dangers associated with environmental degradation and waste pollution.
“Our greatest challenge is how to get government be involved into this program so as to have large numbers of youth involved in the training, and how government can help to sustain youth engagement into this programmed,” Yahaya stated.
Yahaya is the engineer, who constructed the first plastic bottled house in Africa that can last for over 200 years. The house is located at Yalwa Village, which is along Kaduna-Zaria Road,
While making reference to the structure, Yayaha said, “The house was the first of its kind in Africa; though, we trained many students and youths, who are actually displaying the talent of what they learnt at the centre to other places in Northern Nigeria.
“Indeed, recycling of waste plastics is one of the best technologies to avoid environmental air pollution from burning the plastics. As the human population continues to increase, the quantity of solid wastes generation also increases; that is, the government needs solutions.
“We must join hands in tackling all the challenges disturbing our environment; we must support government at all costs in bringing an end to deforestation and pollution, in order to save our country from climate changes,” Yahaya said.
Responding, Mr Pierre Kamsouloum, who is international consultant-trainer, an expert on recycling plastic from Cameroon, says, “It is really interesting coming to Nigeria to train more young people, who are interested in learning new technology in transforming waste plastic to something important in the society.
“This idea comes around 12 years ago in my country, Cameroon, in my town Garowa, and few years later, I joined other organizations to spread the messages, which involved travelling from one country to another.
“We are here in Nigeria to teach other youth how to collect waste plastic from the trash centre, and transform it into something that is useful for the construction of houses and other interior decorations.”
“It is my joy to see that many youth joined the training, so as to help fight unemployment and poverty. I trained the youth how to collect the waste plastic, wash it and dry it before putting it into a big pot for melting, while mixing it with sand that is extracted from Kaduna River. The interlocking-tiles is very fast to dry and it’s very interesting,” Kamsouloum stated.
Mallam Siba Ahmed Dala, who is one of the youth receiving the training, expressed satisfaction over exposure to the new technology.
Meanwhile, assistant director of African Climate reporters, DR Piman Hoffman, has applauded the effort of the NGO and the international waste plastic trainer from Cameroon for coming to Nigeria to train youth on the new technology of recycling waste plastic to interlocking-tiles.
Hoffman says, “Recycling is important in today’s world, if we want to leave this planet for our future generations. It is good for the environment, since we are making new products from the old products, which are of no use to us. Recycling begins at home.
“Recycling your waste makes you more responsible in the way you use and dispose of it. It is evident from studies that people, who do this instinctively, cut down on buying unwanted things from the supermarket,” he said.
He concluded by saying, “When we recycle, recyclable materials are reprocessed into new products and, as a result, the amount of rubbish sent for incineration reduces.”
He then called on government, NGOs and CSOs to always support the spread of new initiatives like this one.