Growing up in Lagos, Nigeria, Bilikiss Adebiyi MBA ’12 witnessed a waste epidemic in the city’s slums, where many of her relatives lived: Plastic bottles, aluminum cans, and other waste accumulated in streets and open gutters, causing flooding, disease, and stress. Images of these trash piles remained vivid in Adebiyi’s mind in 2010, when she was a graduate student at the MIT Sloan School of Management. So when she took the D-Lab course MAS.665 (Development Ventures), which focuses on launching ventures in developing countries, “Something awoke in me to help solve the issue,” Adebiyi says.
Partnering with classmate Alexandra Fallon MBA ’12, she launched Wecyclers, which now deploys a fleet of cargo bikes to collect recyclables from houses in poor areas of Lagos, in return for rewards. Launched in 2012, the startup has collected more than 600 tons of recyclables, with more than 6,500 households signed on to its program. Each house has about five people, Adebiyi adds, “so we’ve impacted more than 30,000 lives.” Continue reading on MIT News.