An enduring solution to waste management, sustainable environment – LASPARK

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Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK) has noted that recycling remains the most evolving and veritable system of addressing waste management and environmental sustainability in the society in order to salvage the ecosystem.

Delivering a paper on “NGOs/CSOs Advocacy for Recycling as a Means of Sustaining Our Environment: Challenges and Prospects” in FESTAC, Amuwo Odofin. LGA, recently, the General Manager of LASPARK, Mrs. Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola affirmed that inculcating recycling culture in our socio-economic lives will address several environmental challenges in the country.

“Everyday we use a variety of products in our households and workplaces to fulfil our basic needs. Most of these products and their packaging are wasted and dumped in bins, which end up in landfill sites. We ignore the fact that a major portion of our waste can be recycled or reused”, she recounted.

Describing the essence of recycling as one of the most effective ways to managing waste and preventing pollution, the General Manager stated that recycling reduces over-dependence on raw materials for the production of new products thereby ensuring a clean, healthy environment and creating wealth.

She pointed out that recycling is the most important action currently available to reduce the impacts of environmental hazards as it conserves natural resources, reduces energy consumption, saves landfill space, decreases pollution, cuts greenhouse gases, saves money and creates job opportunities.

While emphasising the benefits of adding recycling to our routine, she asserted that apart from the obvious environmental control mechanism recycling provides, it is a source of wealth creation for not only individuals and corporate organisations but the nation as a whole.

She also noted that the nation has not fully embraced recycling as an alternative means of waste disposal due to inadequate knowledge, stressing that “The major challenges confronting recycling exercise among Nigerians are the lack of proper knowledge on recycling. While many citizens are indifferent on the consequences of a polluted environment, others regard recycling as an inconvenient routine that should be left in the hands of certain groups in the society”.

Speaking further, Adebiyi-Abiola disclosed that one of the most visible and integrated campaigns LASPARK is championing towards a sustainable environment in Lagos State is an easier and more effective recycling system.

“Having acknowledged the benefits that result from informal recycling, the government is also encouraging Public-Private Partnerships in the development of markets for recycled products and infrastructure to support these markets”, she said.

Adebiyi-Abiola said the State Government, through an integrated waste management programme, is transforming waste to benefit the environment and economy of the State, imploring non-governmental organisations and other relevant stakeholders to join in the campaign.

She solicited for more intensive propagation and investment in the sector as the delivery of waste and recycling services impacts all residential, commercial and industrial properties on daily basis.

Furthermore, she indicated that the mission to provide advocacy, research, education and safety expertise to promote waste management and recycling does not only reside with the government, imploring NGOs and CSOs to consider waste management as an inseparable component to protect human and nature from environmental hazards.

“NGOs should advocate for environmental leadership in public and private organisations, which will make companies to be strongly committed to environmental practices by establishing environmental management system, which allows them to source materials responsibly, and to recycle more of their waste, thereby minimising the impact of waste on our health”, she advised.

In the same vein, Mrs. Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola has also called on Lagosians to embrace healthy living through a greener environment.

She made the call in a keynote address at the 2018 Annual Environmental Day of Valley View Community, Magodo GRA II, stressing that the State Government has long ago realised the potential link between a greener environment and citizens’ wellbeing, which necessitated the call for a renewed effort towards tree greening.

She revealed that the intention of the government towards regenerating our environment is rewarding to the collective social and economic enterprise of the State, saying that it is imperative to understand the ways in which our environment impacts our health as it will give us the power to make those changes in favour of greater health and wellbeing of our mind and body.

In response, the Chairman of Magodo Residents Association, Mr. Kunle Eludire commended the government’s proactive endeavour in making Lagos State a point of reference in the provision of strategic policies that impact people’s lives positively.

He also pledged the commitment of the Residents Association to support the Government towards bequeathing a healthy and sustainable environment to its citizens, adding that having a healthy society is the primary obligation of all a sundry.