Chioma Ukonu, is an innovative entrepreneur who carved her niche in converting trash to wealth. She is the co-founder and the Chief Operating Officer of Recycle Point, a waste recycling and social benefit venture. She had worked in the telecommunications and the banking sector before quitting to face the trash business on a full scale operation. With full scale operation starting in 2013, the business has grown with over 3,000 individuals known as IRecycles representing households supplying wastes registered with the company.
For Chioma, trash business started like a hobby but eventually grew into a serious business, empowering people to generate income from trash.
Recycle Point is a waste recycling and social benefit venture that operates an incentive-based scheme which collects recyclable waste materials from consumers and in turn rewards them with “points” which they can accumulate and use to redeem/shop for household items.
It is a common sight to see our streets, drainages, roadsides and even dumpsites packed with recyclable packaging materials which are carelessly disposed of by users. This practice often poses environmental hazards to communities as they experience flood due to the blockage of water drainages by most of these recyclables which has become the fastest growing packaging option in the beverage and food industry. Often times, the drainage channels in the metropolis cities are blocked by these recyclable items and the resultant effect during the rainy season is flood and breeding ground for harmful organisms.
Recycle Point came up with the idea of correcting the effect of environmental challenges caused by improper waste disposal; which is ‘an incentive “Point-Based” collection program that allocates “Points” to the quantity of recyclable items neatly collected at the point of disposal by post-consumers who in turn use the earned “Points” to redeem numerous identified household items and services.
Subscribers to the scheme are given Green Cards, where items collected and counted are recorded against each week of the month. Recyclers get an SMS notification at the end of the week on the number of “Points” gained. Thereafter, the “Points” gained could be traded in exchange for equivalent tagged items available at the Recycle Points office.
Redeemed items are collected from the office or delivered to the Recycler directly on request. Recycle Point also award bonus points for any environmentally friendly activity promoted by the brand. Potential Recyclers register to join the iRecycle Network and earn points from various identified recycling activities.