The Managing Director/CEO of the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Mr. Ibrahim Odumboni, has charged residents of the state to regularly pay their waste bills, acquire waste bins for their homes, avoid cart pushers, and patronise assigned PSP operators, to avoid drastic enforcement on defaulting homes, planned to commence next month.
Odumboni who gave this charge via a statement in his office at Ijora-Olopa, specifically urged residents to cooperate with respective PSP operators, by promptly paying their waste bills, which have been slightly reviewed upwards.
He noted that the minimal review became inevitable as a result of current economic realities, which he noted had weighed heavily against the business survival of the PSP operators.
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 as a result of the current economic realities in the country. The truth is that, the PSP people cannot sustain their businesses on 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”.
Speaking further, 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 term 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 to 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.
“Last year, the collection and disposal of solid waste across the metropolis was effectively and efficiently done and this year we will do more, to achieve better results. 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.
He said that the waste found on road medians in some parts of the state, have been traced to those who don’t own refuse bins, and have also refused to patronise the assigned PSPs, due to not wanting to pay their waste bills, adding that this habit would not be tolerated in 2023.
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 amount of recyclable materials being collected and processed,” he said.
The LAWMA boss 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”, said Odumboni.
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 working together in the new year to achieve our shared goal of a healthier and consistently cleaner environment”, he said.