United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Waste to Fortune: A Panacea to Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Development


    Wastes from wood, agriculture and weed are used in manufacturing affordable value-added panel product that have proven to be suitable alternative to sawn timber and other wood products. Recycled plastics, weeds and wastes generated from the forestry and agricultural sector are enormous in the World. These can be harvested, processed and utilized to create sustainable fortune and prosperity. These has the potential to alleviate poverty; increase prosperity; provide employment opportunities; minimize pressure on forests biodiversity; mitigate climate change; and curb siltation of water ways through the prevention of pollution arising from conventional means of bio-waste disposal.


    1. investigate the suitability of wood, agriculture wastes and weeds for inorganic-bonded and plastic bonded composites manufacture; 2. examine the effects of production variables on strength and dimensional movement of composites; 3. study the Accelerated Aging properties of products; 4. provide base line research information and avenue for further research on the manufacture of value added panel products from inorganic binders, plastic wastes, wood wastes, agriculture byproducts, weeds, and grasses for industrial and infrastructural development. Such environmentally friendly products with high strength capacity and dimensional stability are strategically positioned to mitigate climate change.

    Contribution to SDG Implementation

    This practice will alleviate poverty through the sales of the products and wastes worldwide. It will enhance the achievement of food security sustainably. Provide baseline information on characterization of the products such as compatibility, strength, values and utilization. Furthermore, environmental degradation and pollution arising from conventional burning and other waste disposal method will be prevented. This will enhance purification of air quality and bring about the availability and affordability of the new value added products for infrastructure works.

    Implementation methodologies

    Raw materials (Wood wastes, agricultural residues, weeds, plastics) were processed into desired particles and screened before board manufacturing. Particles were pretreated in hot water and thereafter mixed with binder and additive before it is formed inside a mould and pressed into targeted thickness. Board is later de-moulded, conditioned, cut into test specimens and for strength and dimensional movement evaluation to determine the area of application. Data obtained were analyzed to determine the effect of the production variables on the structural performance of the board.


    The raw materials were found suitable for the manufacture of value added composites. The boards were dimensionally stable with high strength properties. This phenomenon was caused by variations in raw materials input in the manufacturing. Increase in production variables caused increase in strength and decrease in dimensional movement. The boards showed high resistance to termites, insects, fungi attack, moisture, freezing, fire; Good insulating properties, durability, nailability; Non-aggressive and non-contagious. The product can be commercialized for interior and exterior use worldwide. Investment in this industry can eradicate poverty, improve socioeconomic standards of people, mitigate climate change by reducing the pressure on the forest resources, as well as revolutionize the orientation in design, technology and industrialization through sourcing, processing, new products development and utilization of raw materials and final products.

    Factors and Constraints

    *Enabling factors: The availability of the major raw materials, (wood, agricultural by-products, paper wastes, cement, plastics, car battery case, pozzolan, additives, water) at little or no cost Simple manufacturing technology Desire to protect forest biodiversity Inadequate supply of well-known naturally durable wood species Inadequate housing materials High resistance to termites, insects and fungi attack; moisture, freezing, fire; good insulating properties, durability, nailability; Non-aggressive and non-contagious dust Possibility to produce large dimension panels *Constraints Lack of funds to procure necessary equipment and machinery

    Sustainability and replicability

    The project is sustainable because it utilizes plastic wastes, weeds and residues generated in forest industries and agricultural processes. These materials are available in large quantities and valueless. As such can be used to directly and meaningfully improve the income of farmers who will supply post-harvest processing residues. After harvesting of farm produce, residues will be purchased from these farmers for use in the development of value added panel products. Therefore, farmers will be motivated in the establishment of more food crops because of the assured increase profitability from the sales of post-harvest residues that will be used in sustaining the development of value added panel products. The project can be easily replicated because of the simplicity in the collection, processing, transportation and storage of the raw materials as well as simple manufacturing technology.

    COVID-19 Impact

    The COVID-19 pandemic posed a serious challenge to carrying out further research on the use of bio-wastes and plastic wastes for production of value added panel product through instituted lockdown and restricted movements. However, the instituted lockdown has reduced plastic generation into the environment. Although, efforts to protect people from the virus through various preventive measures where protective gear (PPE) also add to plastic utilization and poses certain risk for the environment. Support required in building back better is to scale existing research outputs to utilize the enormous plastic waste generated before, during and after the pandemic for sustainable prosperity.

    Contact Name
    Federal University of Technology Akure
    Geographical coverage

    Southwestern Nigeria (Ekiti State, Ondo State, Oyo State, Osun State, Ogun State and Lagos State).

    01 October 2019 (start date)
    04 September 2020 (date of completion)
    More information
    Contact Information

    Babatunde, Professor