By Grace Alegba
Lagos, – Refuse dotting Lagos roads and in the city centre will soon be a thing of the past as the state government is set to evacuate 5,000 metric tonnes of waste daily to its new landfill in Epe.
The state is set to carry out the exercise under a public/private partnership involving Visionscape Sanitation Solutions, under the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI).
Thomas Forgacs, Chief Operations Officer, Visionscape Sanitation Solutions, told newsmen of the plan during a media facility tour of the firm’s new refuse transfer loading station in Tapa, Lagos.
The firm is working under the supervision of Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) which serves as a regulator for refuse management in the state.
Forgacs said that refuse management would take a new dimension under the CLI where about 100 automated vehicles would be distributed within the next two weeks to various work teams to begin operation across the state.
While making a demonstration of operations of the refuse collection trucks, he said that the equipment were all automated to guarantee speed and to track the activities of workmen in order to ensure efficiency of field operations.
He said that some roads in the state were inaccessible, and as such, arrangements were on to distribute over 1,000 refuse bags next week for effective collection of refuse in both residential and commercial areas.
“We want to distribute 20,000 galvanised bins in two months, starting from Agege,” Forgacs said.
During demonstrations on how some equipment work, the CEO said that refuse could be fed both manually or through automation to the 41 compactors to reduce the size by six times before transfer to the Epe landfill.
“The compaction ratio is 6:1 which means that the refuse is reduced by six times.
“We can lift and tip at the same time; this will lead to transportation of more waste,” he said.
Forgacs said that all loading operations in both Tapa and Epe were automated for efficiency.
According to him, an initial investment of 50 million dollars has been made into the project.
He explained that operational vehicle fleet would be increased to 500 trucks in subsequent phases of the project.
Forgacs said that Visionscape Sanitation Solutions has consignment of 100 new waste management fleet embedded with cutting-edge technology.
“The Visionscape trucks are fully equipped and embedded with cutting-edge features, which include a Global Positioning System (GPS), radio-frequency identification (RFID), and automotive Controller Area Network (CAN bus) system.
“These innovative features are designed to meet the operational needs facing waste,” he said.
Forgacs said Visionscape holds the residential waste collection contract for the State and the management of three operating waste transfer loading stations, which are currently being renovated, under LAWMA.
He said Visionscape was also constructing West Africa’s first engineered landfill in Epe.
“To-date, the company has successfully cleared over 1,000 litter black spots and illegal dumpsites across Lagos State, as part of their pre-operational phase,” he told news men.
Earlier, Mr Abiodun Bamgbose, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment said that the state government would not derail in its vision of mass job creation and provision of healthy environment under the CLI for residents of Lagos.
NAN reports that sweeping machines which are said to have started operation in the state were also on display.
Also, three gangs of workmen (teams of construction or field workers) differentiated by the colours of their uniforms, who had been trained for refuse collection and disposal, were on parade.
The CLI was established to address, enforce and regulate the challenges in the solid waste management systems in Lagos.