In Nigeria a company is taking advantage of a material that is becoming profitable, we are talking about black gold. This is what they call it because the Freetown Waste Management Recycle company is using it to produce tiles and paving. Nigeria is a country which depends on oil exports, but this time we are not talking about oil, but about used tires.
Oil is obviously a resource that makes whoever finds it a millionaire, however, Ifedolapo Runsewe found a kind of gold in used tires to transform it into products such as roofs, bricks, tiles, among others. That is why they now know it as the black gold of Nigeria.
Ifedolapo Runsewe is the creator of Freetown Waste Management Recycle, a company that transforms used tires into tiles, bricks and other products that serve as substitutes for current ones, such as playgrounds, which are in high demand in Nigeria. Runsewe said creating a product from something that only goes to the landfill was what motivated her to do this project. Her factory is located in the city of Ibadan.
After all, it is a great contribution since this is a product that is simply dumped in the garbage dumps of Nigeria, which only pollute the environment. This factory is located in southwestern Nigeria. The products are made through a value chain where they introduce the tires. One of the products that are most in demand is cobblestones, according to the company.
Garbage collection is poor in Nigeria. For this reason, it is common to see heaps of garbage in towns and cities, and the residents frequently burn it at night because the municipality does not collect it. The tires throw them anywhere.
Scavengers take advantage of this situation to collect as many tires as possible from landfills. The company pays them between 70 to 100 naira ($ 0.17 to $ 0.24) for each tire. Some tires are carried by mechanics. One of them is Akeem Rasaq, who is taking advantage of this new way of making some money by selling used tires.
All the tires end up in the garbage can and others clog the drains. Freetown started in 2020 with just four employees, it now has a workforce of 128 employees. More than 100,000 tires have been recycled by Freetown Waste Management Recycle.