The Lagos Waste Management Authority(LAWMA), formerly known as Lagos State Refuse Disposal Board (LSRDB) at inception was established in 1977 vide Edict No. 9 of 1977 when it was glaring during Nigeria’s preparation for Festival of Arts and Culture (Festac ’77) that the then two Local Government Councils, namely Lagos Island and Lagos Mainland, could not cope with the volume of waste resulting from the oil-boom stimulated economy and its attendant influence on migrants into the new capital city from the rural and less developed areas of Nigeria and neighboring West African countries.
PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY AT INCEPTION
At its inception, a firm of expatriates – Messrs. Powell Duffyrn Pollution Control of Canada was contracted to manage refuse collection and disposal, which commenced within only two Local Government Councils, namely Lagos island and part of the Mainland.
RENAMING INTO LAGOS STATE WASTE DISPOSAL BOARD WITH ADDITIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES
On 13th March, 1979 the Board was officially commissioned and renamed Lagos State Waste Disposal Board (LSWDB) with additional responsibilities for cleaning primary and secondary drains within the metropolis. The following responsibilities were similarly added over the years:
i. Commencement of the collection and disposal of industrial waste (1980)
ii. Commencement of intermittent emergency flood relief operation operation during rainy season (1981).
iii. Collection and disposal of scraps and derelict/abandoned vehicles (1981).
iv. Removal of illegal structures erected on the required setback from roads as well as those impeding the cleaning of drains/drainage channels (1984).
v. Commencement of litter control action within the metropolis (1984).
RENAMING OF THE BOARD INTO LAGOS STATE WASTE MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY (LAWMA)
In December 1991, the name Lagos State Waste Management Authority was christened vide Edict No 55 which made the agency to be responsible for the collection, transportation and disposal of municipal and industrial waste as well as the provision of commercial waste services to the state and Local Government Councils.
The Authority was renamed Lagos Waste Management Authority in March 2007 vide LAWMA Law No. 5 cap. 27, Vol. 40 of 2007.
RESTRUCTURING INTO A REGULATORY AGENCY
By provision of Environmental Management & Protection Law of 1st March, 2017 the Authority is re-positioned from an Operator/Regulator into a full Regulator in the Waste Management Sector, in line with Cleaner Lagos initiative. By this arrangement, public waste operations, Domestic Waste Operations, Waste Management Operations, Landfill Operations and Transfer Loading stations have been concession-ed to private sector participants, while LAWMA will guide , model and appraise these practitioners in line with international best practices.