Applaud the Use of Noxious Waste as an Energy Source


Target: Lagos Waste Management Authority or LAWMA

Goal: Applaud Nigeria’s efforts to transform waste into a power source

Cities that see some of their neighborhoods gobbled up by noxious trash dumps don’t have to keep on piling up the garbage. Instead, they can put it to good use by converting it into a source of energy. That is exactly what Nigeria hopes to implement in its capital city of Lagos. While the energy produced from the dump in question will only amount to 1% of the total that Nigeria needs to power its growing economy, it would be an excellent way to get rid of the garbage that threatens to ruin an otherwise beautiful city.

Unfortunately, Lagos has become known as the “garbage capital of the world” because the city is filled with many dump sites. The project plans to transform one such site — Olusosun — into an energy production facility that would incinerate the waste to convert it into the fuel methane. The Olusosun dump takes up 100 acres — about one and a half miles —  and its heaps of rotting waste are piled up to form hills as tall as 25 meters or 82 feet.

Cleaning up this waste by incinerating it or burying it in a landfill is a burdensome expense for the government. By converting it into a source of energy, the city doesn’t merely recoup its investment  but also lays the framework for the energy infrastructure that it needs to thrive. A preliminary trial of the project has already proven to be a minor success. To reduce its reliance on diesel generators, Ikosi Market has turned to converting its rotten fruit into 5 megawatts of energy  that are reused on site to power its operations.

But the generated energy is not the most exciting part of the project; the side benefit of incinerating the trash that has been piling up over the years is what will make for the most tangible difference in the life of the city. If all goes as planned, the Olusosun dump site, a potential breeding ground for flies and rodents and a health hazard, won’t be around for long. Once the project gets underway, it will see its hills of trash, repulsive to sight and smell, vanish almost magically to be replaced by a park with grass and trees.

Sign this petition to commend the Lagos Waste Management Authority for both cleaning up its city and promoting renewable energy by undertaking the conversion of waste into the fuel methane.


Dear members of the Lagos Waste Management Authority,

It is inspiring that you have come up with an incredibly useful solution to your city’s trash problem. Heaps of trash piled up in hills and over miles of city space is certainly a nuisance; it’s quite unpleasant to see precious territory being devoted to the storage of noxious, rotting waste that could breed insects and attract rodents.

By deciding to turn this waste into a source of energy, you have managed to kill two birds with one stone. First, piles of garbage quickly dwindle, contributing to a clean, healthy, pest-free environment. Second, the methane generated from the incinerated waste would partially meet the energy needs of consumers and the private sector.

Your initiative deserves our praise for embodying the ideal of economic development that respects the environment. Let’s hope that other countries will follow your example of promoting clean, beautiful cities that transform their heaps of garbage — a health hazard —  into a power source enjoyed by their residents.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: John Atherton via Wikimedia Commons

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