An environmental utility company, Visionscape Sanitation Solutions, contracted by Lagos State Government to manage waste in the state following its introduction of the Cleaner Lagos Initiative, CLI, weekend disclosed that the fight between PSP refuse collectors and the state government following the decision of the government to contract waste management to Visionscape has been resolved finally.
Mr. John Irvine, the Managing Director of Visionscape, made the disclosure at an interactive session with the media, said: “Months of negotiations and round-table discussions have led to a new arrangement as announced by the state Ministry of the Environment. The two key parties, Visionscape Sanitation Solutions and the Private Sector Participants, PSP operators have reached an agreement, borne out of a need to give effective environmental services to the people of Lagos State.
“Under the new arrangement, the PSP operators, now referred to as Waste Collection Operators, WCO, have agreed to resume residential waste collection, where they will bill and service homes across the state, while Visionscape’s primary concern would be infrastructure development. This resolution also became urgent as the government and other stakeholders are determined to avoid similar environmental disasters as the Olusosun fire outbreak that occurred a few weeks before.”
Mr Irvine said that the success of any waste management process is hinged on the effectiveness of several touch points in the cycle, pointing out that the return of the WCOs is expected to accelerate the waste collection process while Visionscape Sanitation Solutions will now focus on the provision of the infrastructure that the entire system would run on.
An engineer and Special Adviser to the Governor on Cleaner Lagos Initiative, Adebola Shabi said: “It is great that we have been able to partner with Visionscape Sanitation Solutions and the PSP operators, where all efforts can be pushed towards the success of the Cleaner Lagos Initiative. We believe that small businesses are the true engine of economic growth and should be encouraged at all levels.
“This is what this partnership is about. Beyond the CLI goals of fostering a cleaner environment for Lagosians, we are also finding opportunities to provide an infrastructure and awareness initiative that will enable an effective waste management system. Visionscape Sanitation Solutions and the PSP operators are an inspiration to all and we look forward to a successful working relationship.”
As for Visionscape, the company currently has concession of three transfer loading stations, three vehicle maintenance depots and the 88-hectare land in Epe being constructed as the first engineered landfill in West Africa, adding that while these are marked improvement in the waste facilities in the state, and it is only the beginning when compared with societies like New York City with a population of 19.8 million people.
“The city has 167 permitted transfer stations and 27 active municipal waste management landfills. Lagos State’s rapidly growing population Currently, it is over 24 million people, which calls for the need to close the infrastructure gaps.
“The new arrangement expounds the scope of Visionscape’s contract which includes the construction of more transfer loading stations, biomass plants, recycling facilities, waste-to-energy plants, leachate and waste water treatment schemes, dumpsites and landfill remediation and more.
He said; “Sometimes you must compromise for the sake of the common good. We listened to all stakeholders, and our intentions were always to be part of a community. Both sides understand each other’s aspirations, and have chosen to focus on our commonalities, put the controversy behind us and move forward collectively as a community.
“We will continue to support our partner operators with equipment and capacity upgrade for better collection and carry out interventions required to fill service gaps. However, the new arrangement places the WCOs as the state’s residential waste collectors while Visionscape serves as the central processing hub of municipal solid waste within Lagos State, developing and maintaining all infrastructure to deliver an effective integrated waste management system for the state’s 24 million residents.”