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Ideas Global Challenge Team Profile: Wecyclers


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MIT's Wecyclers program

Residents of Ajegunle, Lagos, exchanged recyclables for raffle tickets and anxiously await the calling of the winners as part of MIT's wecyclers program.

Credit: Bilikiss Adebiyi

A participant in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT's) IDEAS Global Challenge is Wecyclers, a crowdsourced recycling platform that will operate in Lagos, Nigeria, and is designed to incentivize the collection of recyclable materials by slum residents.

The Wecyclers team intends to develop a fleet of bicycle-powered mobile collection centers and employ a short messaging service-based points platform so that those who bring recyclables to the centers can earn rewards such as clean drinking water, soap, food, or cell phone minutes purchased though the sale of the materials to the local recycling sector.

"When they collect recyclable materials, they will be amassing points that can be used for something that will be of use to them," says Wecyclers team member and MIT student Bilikiss Adebiyi.

He notes that the Wecyclers team is striving to have a pilot program for this summer, and both mechanical engineers and software engineers are participating in the construction of the platform. The prototype will be piloted in Lagos, with hopes to roll it out in 2013. "We have all of these ideas, but we need to have a working prototype and be able to learn from it before moving forward," Adebiyi says.

From MIT News 
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