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NBTE Centre of Excellence Hosts Webinar to Commemorate International Day of Zero Waste

Zero Waste Day webinar photos

On December 14, 2022, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution during its seventy-seventh session, designating March 30 as the International Day of Zero Waste, to be observed annually. This global initiative promotes Sustainable Consumption and Production, aiming to raise awareness about responsible resource use, minimize waste generation, and improve waste management practices worldwide. According to the United Nations, "Households, small businesses, and public service providers generate between 2.1 billion and 2.3 billion tons of municipal solid waste every year – from packaging and electronics to plastics and food. However, global waste management services are ill-equipped to handle this, with 2.7 billion people lacking access to solid waste collection and only 61–62 per cent of municipal solid waste being managed in controlled facilities."

In commemoration of this significant day, the NBTE Centre of Excellence, a UNESCO-UNEVOC Centre, organized a webinar on Thursday, April 4, 2024, for the TVET community. The webinar aimed to raise awareness about zero waste and share innovations for converting waste to wealth within TVET institutions.

In his welcome address, the Executive Secretary, Prof. Idris M. Bugaje who was represented by his Special Assistant, Prof Diyauddeen Basheer Hasan called on the participants to key into the initiative with a view to reducing the generation of waste which highlighted the importance of sustainable practice in campuses to 

Professor Diya’uddeen Basheer Hasan, a distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering, delivered a paper titled "Waste Generation and Recycling in Institutions." In his presentation, he underscored the importance of efficient waste management and recycling for sustainable development, environmental protection, and addressing global challenges such as pollution and resource depletion. He also emphasized the crucial role of TVET institutions, host communities, and individuals in promoting recycling practices and reducing waste generation to build a more sustainable future.

At the conclusion of the webinar, participants reached a consensus on the necessity for institutions to establish Green Campus Champions where such roles do not exist. These Green Teams/Champions will support institution management in facilitating, promoting, and enforcing waste sorting within campuses to ensure that waste disposal is sorted during collection, thereby enabling the potential conversion of waste into wealth. 

Additionally, the importance of collaboration and networking between institutions and communities was emphasized. This collaboration will facilitate the sharing of information about waste peculiarities in certain institutions/communities, allowing institutions engaged in research or local fabrication for specific waste recycling to benefit by identifying sources of raw materials, especially plastic waste, which is the most common type of waste and is often used as packaging for drinking water (commonly referred to as sachet water in Nigeria).