In Nigeria, new money in used tires

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Nigeria is heavily dependent on the money generated by its exports of oil. However, businesswoman Ifedolapo Runsewe has found a second local source of money the used car tire.

The year before, Runsewe established the Freetown Waste Management Recycle plant in Ibadan which is a town located in the southwest region of Nigeria. The workers convert old tires into materials used to make cobblestones as well as soils and other materials that are in high demand across the country.

“To create something completely new from something that would otherwise be somewhere else, since the loss was one of the reasons,” Runsewe said to Reuters.

The waste disposal system is not as efficient in Nigeria. In towns, villages and cities, huge amounts of garbage are common. Many people will burn their garbage in the evening because there aren’t any safer ways for disposal. Tires are frequently found in the trash.

The Freetown plant is run by those who pick up old tires from areas that have garbage. The amount they receive is from 70-100 naira which is 17-24 cents per tire.


Men work on the recycling line for car tires in the Freetown Waste Management Recycling Plant in Ibadan, Nigeria, on September 17th, 2021. REUTERS / Temilade Adelaja

Certain tires are also sold directly by auto repairers such as Akeem Rasaq. He said to Reuters that he was pleased to have found a business that could earn money from the old tires.

Freetown began operations with only four employees. The facility now employs 128 employees. To date, over 100,000 tires were recycled from speed bumps to the flexible coating on play areas.

Houssam Azem was the person who founded The Lagos Jet Ski Riders Club. He purchased cobblestones from Freetown to build a playground for children. “It is vital to help those who recycle in the United States,” he said.

Azem said: “By taking tires… and making them into play items for kids I’m convinced that it’s an overall winning situation for all.”

I’m Jonathan Evans.

Fikayo Owoeye and Seun Sanni have reported the article to Reuters the news agency. Jonathan Evans adapted this story to Learn English. Bryan Lynn was the editor.


Words used in this story

Paving stones is an in millimeters brick slightly bigger than the bricks that are used to construct the pavement surface

motivation – nm an inducing force either through stimulus or influence; to drive

slower is a Nma low or raised ridge on an area of parking or a road which causes drivers to go more slowly

win-win – adj. give a positive result to all who is involved

About Joshua M. Osborne

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