Nigeria seems locked in a perpetual struggle against waste. The country produces 34 million tonnes of solid waste every year. A lot of it ends up in huge refuse dumps or littering the streets of major cities. Only a fraction gets recycled. This poses a threat to the environment in these places.
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One type of waste seems ubiquitous in these parts- used tires. They are a favourite plaything for children and often used to stoke harmful bonfires.
JD Recycling is changing the status of these objects, one tire at a time. The venture is taking them off the streets and dumps, and converting them into beautiful furniture. It’s a solution that’s become fairly well known in Nigeria, thanks to the work of social enterprises involved in recycling.
JD recycling was founded in December 2017 by Mrs. Olaide Ayodele; it took off fully in September 2018. In the nearly two years since it began operations, it has targeted schools, companies, hotels, and private residences with furniture that it has fashioned from used tires. It also counts government offices and public parks as some of its potential client base.
Apart from selling to these entities, JD Recycling also donates some of its chairs and tables to rural schools. These schools typically lack appropriate furniture for their students; JD Recycling takes this to be its corporate social responsibility. But it also teaches school children how to make the furniture, so they can help themselves if they are ever without a good seat.
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These children aren’t the only ones who benefit from JD Recycling’s training program. The venture also trains women in the art of making useful things from tires. They can apply this skill in at least two ways: they build furniture for their homes, and create chairs and tables they can sell and earn an income from.
JD Recycling is getting recognition for the work it does. Early in 2020, Connect Nigeria named the company one of Nigeria’s Top 100 Emerging SMEs from the year 2019. It achieved this thanks to votes from its many supporters, who believe in its product and philanthropic work.
Mrs. Ayodele says the company has its eyes on markets in other parts of Africa. As it broadens its reach in Nigeria, it will be scaling up its presence elsewhere on the continent too.
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