The Lagos State government has issued a stern warning to residents dumping their refuse indiscriminately on the streets and dredgers sand-filling wetlands to desist from such acts or face the law.
Babatunde Adejare, the Commissioner for Environment, stated this on Friday during a programme on Channels Television.
According to Mr. Adejare, the PSP (private sector participants) could no longer cope with the quantum of waste being generated in the state estimated at 13,000 metric tons per day.
The PSP operators (private waste collectors) had been at loggerheads with the state government over the decision to limit their activities to business premises and contract a new investor to handle refuse collection in residential areas.
Mr. Adejare said the PSP operators erroneously believed that they were being put out of business and assured them that they were still an integral part of the clean-up process as attested by the ongoing recertification of the operators.
He said the Lagos State Government was tackling the waste problems in the state in a comprehensive manner with the assistance of about 12 consortiums including Visionscape, an environmental utility group that would confront the issue with technology, better funding and germane solutions under the Cleaner Lagos Initiative which will become fully operational in September.
Mr. Adejare said the presence of heaps of refuse in most areas of the state was due to the transitory period before the takeover by the consortium but which had been aggravated by acts of saboteurs and dredgers.
“Under the CLI, waste would first be collected from all the 377 wards in the state before being transported to the Material Recovery Facility (MRF) where they would be sorted out into nylons, papers, bottles and organic wastes for recycling,” Mr. Adejare said.
“About 27,500 workers would be employed and they would earn slightly more than the minimum wage, enjoy medical and life insurance as well as injury cover. They will not spend money on transportation as they would be recruited from their neighbourhood.”
The Commissioner assured residents and indigenes of the state that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode would deliver on all his promises, adding that Lagos State would be the first state in the country to surmount the problem of waste disposal.