Mr Ibrahim Odumboni, the managing director and chief executive officer of the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), has urged state residents to pay their waste bills on time, buy trash cans for their homes, stay away from cart pushers, and use designated PSP operators in order to avoid harsh enforcement against defaulting homes that are set to begin next month.
Odumboni requested citizens to work with various PSP operators by quickly paying their garbage fees, which had been marginally revised upwards, in a statement he issued from his office in Ijora-Olopa.
He said that the current economic situation, which had a significant negative impact on the PSP operators’ ability to stay in business, made the limited review unavoidable.
He said, “As we bid farewell to the year 2022 and welcome the new year 2023, I strongly appeal to residents to promptly pay their waste bills, although slightly reviewed upwards. The review is a result of the current economic realities in the country. The truth is that the PSP people cannot sustain their businesses at the old rates. Practically, the prices of everything have multiplied, from tyres to diesel, truck parts, labour, etc. We need to help them stabilise to continue offering quality service, to keep our city clean”.
He reiterated the need for every home to acquire a waste bin, as enforcement on defaulting homes would begin in January, adding that patronage of cart pushers had become an environmental offence attracting prosecution and possible jail terms for the cart pusher and his customer.
He said, “I also want to make it abundantly clear that it is now an environmental offence, for a home not to own a bin or patronise cart pushers. Full enforcement of bin ownership on tenements will commence next month. Also, anyone caught patronising cart pushers will be arrested and prosecuted along with the pusher. Many cart pushers had been prosecuted and serving various jail terms”.
Odumboni also emphasised LAWMA’s efforts at improving the collection and disposal of solid waste, including the deployment of additional waste collection trucks and the implementation of a route optimization system, as well as empowering PSP operators to deliver optimally.
“One of the key areas we focused on last year was improving the collection and disposal of solid waste, and this year we will do more. We have increased the number of waste collection trucks on the roads, and have implemented an optimisation system to ensure that waste is collected efficiently and effectively,” he stated.
The LAWMA boss also harped on the importance of recycling in the waste management ecosystem in the state, urging residents to explore it for its vast economic and environmental values.
“In addition to improving the collection and disposal of solid waste, we have also worked hard to boost recycling in Lagos. We have launched a number of programs to promote the separation of recyclables from other waste, and have established partnerships with local businesses and organisations to increase the number of recyclable materials being collected and processed,” he said.
The LAWMA helmsman said the authority would step up its advocacy campaign in the new year, to promote the culture of environmental sustainability among residents, through community, school and market advocacy programs.
“We are also committed to educating the public about the importance of waste management and environmental sustainability. We have launched a number of public awareness campaigns to educate residents about the importance of proper waste management and have worked with schools and community organisations to promote these messages to residents”, he quipped.
While wishing residents a prosperous new year, he thanked them for their cooperation and support in the outgoing year. “We are grateful for the support of residents in our efforts to create a cleaner and safer Lagos for all. We look forward to continuing to work together in the new year to achieve our shared goal of a healthier and consistently cleaner environment”, he said