Addressing Waste Management in a Nigerian market (SDGs 11.6 & 12.5)

Seeking students to introduce recycling and reuse in Ibadan, Nigeria

Project description

SDG  target 12.5 calls for the reduction of waste generation through prevention,  recycling, and reuse,  and identifies recycling rates as a primary indicator (12.5.1).

In Nigeria, agriculture and food waste along with single-use plastics represent significant sustainability challenges that are especially problematic in crowded city markets. Organized waste collection is infrequent and refuse is dumped on city roads, resulting in environmental and health hazards. With no formal efforts to promote recycling or the reuse of commercial products, the management of waste is not valued and resulting environmental impacts continue to compound.

As an architect and community leader living and working in Ibadan, Nigeria, I am committed to introducing recycling and reuse with a focus on urban planning and sustainable cities. I invite UB students who share a committment to sustainability and social innovation to contribute to the following initiatives that we will be co-creating through this project challenge:

  1. Reduction: reducing the use of single-use plastic bags within featured city market
  2. Recycling: encouraging the collection and recycling of food waste and plastic within featured city market
  3. Reuse: establishing interest and commerce around upcycled furniture and household goods within featured city market 

Project outcome

Project outcomes will directly support the following goals :

  1. Prevention: working to reduce the number of single-use bags at the featured market while introducing and testing more sustainable options. Activities will include baseline assessments to examine current practices and research on more sustainable alternatives. Students will also support exploratory efforts to address prevention toward the development of proposals and related innovations.
  2. Recycling: working to pilot recycling efforts within the market focusing  on food waste and plastic bottles and bags. Activities will include baseline assessments and exploring viable options for waste collection as well as recycling possibilities. Students will also support exploratory efforts to address recycling goals toward development of scalable proposals and related innovations.
  3. Reuse: Working to introduce upcycling of furniture and household items through  the buying and selling of related items. Vendors and marketgoers will be incentivized to sell broken and unused items, creating value around waste. They will also have the opportunity to buy furniture and household items created from the waste as a way to promote recycling and awareness associated with the target SDGs. Students will contribute to all stages of project development and implementation.

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment Semester or longer
Start time Flexible
In-person, remote, or hybrid? Remote
Level of collaboration  Individual or small group
Benefits Sustainability or Global Collaboration digital badge; students can arrange for academic credit through department
Who is eligible  Juniors or Seniors 

Core partners

Ayomitomiwa Ogunsile   CEO, Ayomi Arts, Ibadan Nigeria

Project mentor

Mara Huber

Associate Dean, Undergraduate Research and Experiential Learning; Director, Experiential Learning Network

127 Capen Hall

Phone: (716) 829-2834


Start the project

  1. Email the project mentor using the contact information above to express your interest and get approval to work on the project. (Here are helpful tips on how to contact a project mentor.)
  2. After you receive approval from the mentor to start this project, click the button to start the digital badge. (Learn more about ELN's digital badge options.) 

Preparation activities

The specific preparation activities for this project will be customized through discussions between you and your project mentor. Please be sure to ask them for the instructions to complete the required preparation activities.

Please note that students must be accepted by the project partner before they can begin the badge process. Once accepted, they will engage in a facilitated meeting to discuss the details of their project and associated preparation. They will also explore an appropriate mentor/content expert while continuing to receive holistic support from the ELN team throughout their project.

To get started, email Dr. Huber, Director of ELN, at to express interest and share any relevant skills or experience. An initial exploratory meeting will be scheduled.


Project Challenge