AAAS Member Destiny Frederick is Founder and CEO of EcoFuture, a social enterprise that helps Nigerian recycling plants access highly-sorted, quality recyclable waste at minimum cost.
Destiny was a finalist in this year’s GIST Tech-I Competition, an annual competition for science and technology entrepreneurs from 135 emerging economies around the world. GIST Tech-I is part of the U.S. Department of State’s Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) initiative and has been implemented by AAAS since 2014.
We asked Destiny why she’s focused on United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #11, Sustainable Cities and Communities. Her responses are summarized below.
What impacts do unmanaged and illegal dumpsites have on your community and the environment?
Unmanaged landfill and illegal waste dumpsites have left over 3 million people in Edo State, Nigeria vulnerable to erosion and flooding due to drainage blockage, malaria epidemics due to stagnant water, and pollution of the air due to Carbon (IV) Oxide emissions from the burning of waste.
When did you decide to make the leap to entrepreneurship?
During my National Youth Service Corps orientation camp I realized that a large number of graduates expected white collar jobs and that youth would need to create jobs for themselves. With my belief that cleanliness is next to godliness, I decided to focus on sanitation as a means of job creation. I have always been a problem solver.
What innovations does EcoFuture bring to waste management?
EcoFuture is at the Beta stage of developing a new product called EcoBin. EcoBin is a wireless sensor smart waste bin that transmits real- time data about fill levels. The data is analyzed using a cloud based server and utilized to enhance waste collection routes so that only filled containers are serviced. This helps waste management companies, recycling companies, residents and business establishments to enhance collection logistics and gain valuable insights from their operations for greater efficiency. Our low cost sensor waste bin will be50% cheaper compared to other products.
Can your recycling model be implemented in other communities?
Our recycling model can be replicated in other countries, especially on the African continent, which generates over 2 billion tons of waste every year.
For more information about EcoFuture, visit www.ecofuture.com.ng.