The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
World's Top Sustainable Solution: Pedal-Powered Recycling
Tonight in Copenhagen, Denmark, Sustainia, a Scandinavian think tank working to scale the deployment of innovative solutions, announced the winner of its 2014 Sustainia Award to the Nigerian initiative Wecyclers.
Wecyclers enables low-income communities to make money from waste piling up in their streets. By deploying a fleet of cargo bicycles to collect and recycle unmanaged waste in Nigeria’s city of Lagos, Wecyclers lets families exchange garbage for consumer goods via an SMS-based point system.
“The threats from climate change are real and they are here. But so are the solutions. I am very inspired by this year’s Sustainia Award winner, Wecyclers," said Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Governor of California and chair of Sustainia Award. "They show us that communities can create local solutions to waste and recycling issues, which are not only more sustainable but also improve public health and create new jobs and businesses. By coming together and acting in new ways, we can create positive and sustainable change in our communities and inspire cities around the world to do the same.”
Wecyclers is a response to local waste issues since the Nigerian government only collects 40 percent of its cities garbage with only 13 percent of recyclable materials salvaged from landfills. Wecyclers is empowering the local community and already has more than 5,000 households signed up.
“We are so overwhelmed to win the Sustainia Award. I have always thought of our initiative as low-tech but high-impact," said Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola, CEO of Wecyclers. "We focused on building a technology that would solve the unique problems of the communities we operate in. Many other cities can help their communities in similar ways and provide healthier and cleaner surroundings for their citizens. This award gives us a great opportunity to share our work.”
The Sustainia Award Ceremony showcased nine other leading innovations from seven countries as more than 1,000 climate scientists, business leaders and experts are gathered in the Copenhagen awaiting the concluding report from a seven-year study from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on the impacts and risks related to climate change, which will be presented on Nov. 2.
“Solutions to combat climate change are not only high-tech innovations focused on cutting emissions, creating infrastructure or efficiency," said Laura Storm, director of Sustainia. "To successfully solve the variety of challenges, we need variety in our solutions as well. Wecyclers is a leading example of a solution that empowers its community to lead healthier, wealthier and more sustainable lives. It offers very clear incentives for all players to get on board and that is exactly what can help this solution succeed."
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Erica Cirino
Visit a coral reef off the coast of Miami or the Maldives and you may see fields of bleached white instead of a burst of colors.
By Jason Bittel
High up in the mountains of Montana's Glacier National Park, there are two species of insect that only a fly fishermen or entomologist would probably recognize. Known as stoneflies, these aquatic bugs are similar to dragonflies and mayflies in that they spend part of their lives underwater before emerging onto the land, where they transform into winged adults less than a half inch long. However, unlike those other species, stoneflies do their thing only where cold, clean waters flow.
By Bob Curley
- The new chicken sandwiches at McDonald's, Popeyes, and Chick-fil-A all contain the MSG flavor enhancement chemical.
- Experts say MSG can enhance the so-called umami flavor of a food.
- The ingredient is found in everything from Chinese food and pizza to prepackaged sandwiches and table sauces.
McDonald's wants to get in on the chicken sandwich war currently being waged between Popeyes and Chick-fil-A.
By Andrea Germanos
Youth climate activists marched through the streets of Davos, Switzerland Friday as the World Economic Forum wrapped up in a Fridays for Future demonstration underscoring their demand that the global elite act swiftly to tackle the climate emergency.
By Tim Radford
The year is less than four weeks old, but scientists already know that carbon dioxide emissions will continue to head upwards — as they have every year since measurements began — leading to a continuation of the Earth's rising heat.