November 29, 2021

NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA

Africa's Media Giant

COVID-19: RecyclePoints wins #Hack4COVIDWaste challenge

COVID-19: RecyclePoints wins #Hack4COVIDWaste challenge

COVID-19: RecyclePoints wins #Hack4COVIDWaste challenge

By Abujah Racheal

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with EpiAFRIC, Reboot and Nigeria Health Watch have announced RecyclePoints as the winner of the #Hack4COVIDWaste.

This was a hackathon designed to develop solutions to help combat the issue of management and disposal of COVID-19 waste in Nigeria.

Mr William Tsuma, Crisis Prevention and Recovery Advisor UNDP, made the announcement to newsmen on Monday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the two-day hackathon assessed the technical innovation of each solution, the creativity in solving the challenge and the strength of the solution’s business model.

Tsuma disclosed that the hackathon received more than 200 applications from contenders across the country and, through a competitive process, 10 shortlisted teams were selected to compete as finalists.

He stated that RecyclePoints, a social corporate enterprise that engages communities and corporate organisations in the collection of post-consumer waste for recycling, emerged as the winner with its Medical Plastic Waste Recovery Initiative.

“RecyclePoints proposed solution involves the use of paper-based corrugated boxes for the collection of recyclable medical waste.

“This will further be processed into plastic plumbers for the production of school chairs as well as other medical products like surgical gloves and face masks.

“The solution also proposes the adoption of mobile apps to monitor the storage levels of waste bins, tracking of recyclable materials collected and the provision of incentives to partner hospitals,” he explained.

Tsuma added that Hack4COVIDWaste hackathon had provided an opportunity to build an ecosystem of solutions toward solving the issue of COVID-19 waste management, while helping to connect teams to mentors and partners for longer-term recovery efforts.

“We have seen incredible local talent, including the winner, RecyclePoints, rise to the challenge and we are confident that these solutions will help to create lasting impact.”

“UNDP Nigeria would like to congratulate the winners of this year’s #Hack4waste challenge and pledges to engage broadly with partners to explore ways in which further support can be availed to deploy the solutions at scale,” he said.

According to Dr Ifeanyi Nsofor, CEO EpiAfric, we are extremely impressed with the team at RecyclePoints and how they were able to showcase how they would repurpose COVID-19 waste.

Nsofor noted that their solution would not only protect the environment but would also reduce reinfection, contribute to climate change mitigation and empower Nigerians economically.

Also speaking at the event, Mr Adam Talsma, Director Africa Reboot, said RecyclePoints demonstrated a good understanding of the issue, the context, and considered financial viability and operational feasibility.

Talsma congratulated his team and everyone that participated in the hackathon.

“Reboot Nigeria is honoured to have contributed.”

He noted that managing COVID-19 waste could not be done without cooperation amongst diverse stakeholders

“A sustainable social enterprise needs a thriving community. Build community around your issue and your enterprise, and the networks will prove invaluable.

“Shortlisted teams were taking their ideas through a design thinking process and
pitching sessions, followed by mentorship from industry experts to further refine their solutions.

“Teams then had the opportunity to pitch their COVID-19 waste management idea to a panel of judges.

“Safe and effective waste management is critical to human development and health outcomes, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added. (NAN)