The Lagos State Waste Management Authority on Wednesday said waste scavengers were stealing government’s raw materials and would begin to pay levies to the state government.
The Executive Chairman of LAWMA, Olumuyiwa Adejokun, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that wastes were resources for the state, which scavengers stole daily.
Adejokun said: “Scavengers must pay to the government purse because they make money from whatever they collect across dump sites.
“What we call waste is no more waste, they are raw materials.
“Papers, plastic, iron, nylon and other things scavengers gather across the state must attract levies.
“So, all these scavengers must register to make revenue for the government.
“They are stealing government’s raw materials.
“Every scavenger must pay.
“We must generate money for government.”
According to Adejokun, the authority is guided by 3Rs – Reuse, Recycle and Reduce – in the management of wastes and it will not relent in its efforts to manage wastes in the state.
He said: “If we don’t reduce the amount of waste we generate, one day, there will be problem.
“But if we recycle and reuse, we will ask for more waste.”
The LAWMA chief said the management had brought in innovations into the system such as waste categorisation and separation, for easy waste collection by PSP operators.
The chairman, who said the government was on the top of managing waste to create jobs and ensure cleaner environment, said more recyclers were springing up in the state.
Adejokun said dumping refuse in water drains had serious health and environmental dangers for residents.
He urged residents to package their waste well for LAWMA.
He said: “Our Advocacy Teams have not relented going from a market to another, from one area to another, sensitising Lagosians to manage their wastes properly.
“Don’t throw waste anywhere.
“There is no way we will have wastes on waterways that it will not affect us.
“Don’t throw waste anyhow.
“Government spends a lot to clear canals.”
Adejokun urged residents to change their orientation and shun indiscriminate throwing of waste in the environment or giving waste to cart-pushers.
The official said the authority was up to the task, urging residents to always sort solid wastes from liquid for easy collection by waste collectors.
Adejokun said LAWMA had made concerted efforts to meet the challenges of wastes generated in the rainy seasons, adding that residents would commend the authority at the end of the season.
He said the authority would put more efforts on mechanised marine waste management, as opposed to the manual approach, by the marine waste collectors.