NIGERIA: Freetown Waste recycles used tires for flooring, and it works

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NIGERIA: Freetown Waste recycles used tires for flooring, and it works ©Anuoluwapo Kolade

In Nigeria, it is a new era for rubber recycling through the ingenuity of the start-up Freetown Waste, which specializes in flooring made from car tires. The start-up, based in Ibadan, 270 km from the capital Abuja, aims to develop its activities throughout the African continent in order to reduce pollution.

While ten million used tires pile up every year in Nigerian landfills with significant health and environmental risks, the start-up Freetown Waste Management Recycle has decided to recycle them into products for flooring, including paving bricks and slabs for buildings. In four years, the plant based in Ibadan, Oyo State, has tiled several homes, technical offices, amusement parks, playgrounds and restaurants in Lagos, Nigeria’s economic capital.

According to Theophlius Okoyomon, the start-up’s chief operating officer, the Nigerian rubber flooring market is expected to grow with the increase in vehicle demand. As a result, the company is working with more than 150 people who are employed as tire collectors at dump sites.

Revolutionizing waste management

“So far, more than 100,000 tires have been recycled into the company’s end products, but the goal is to recycle 15 million per year into useful reusable products for residential, commercial and industrial use with a clear vision to be the leading recycled rubber manufacturer in Nigeria. We have a production capacity of 1,000 tons per year for both our crushing line and our manufacturing line which produces about 400 m2 of tiles and 3,300 m2 of rubber mats per day,” explains Ifedolapo Runsewe the General Manager of Freetown Waste.

Read also-NIGERIA: In 3 years, Coca-Cola has invested $3m in plastic waste recycling

The tire recycling plant recently received the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) certificate from the Oyo State Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, which will enable it to access the manufacturing certificate from the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment in the near future. However, the start-up already present in Rwanda and Equatorial Guinea is considering the expansion of its activities in other African countries such as Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal and South Africa, thanks to its new factory in the United Kingdom.

Benoit-Ivan Wansi

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