The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Monday stopped the destruction of unfit banknotes through burning. The banknotes will now be destroyed through recycling, the apex bank said.
According to the regulator, recycling of banknote wastes would enhance economic activities in the country in addition to environmental sustainability.
The CBN has also directed that companies with interest in securing the contract for the recycling on unfit banknotes should apply. The banknotes disposal operation is carried out in 12 disposal centres across the country weekly where about 100 tons of paper banknote wastes are generated.
“Section 18(d) of the CBN Act 2007 authorised “The bank to arrange for the destruction of currency notes and coins withdrawn from circulation under the provision of section 20(3) of the said Act or otherwise found by the Bank to be unfit for use,” it said.
“These wastes are destroyed through open air burning in sites owned by the bank or rented, usually from the state governments. Paper Banknote wastes disposal by open air burning impacts negatively on the environment thereby causing pollution and health hazards”.
“The CBN in pursuance of its sustainability initiatives has reviewed the current method of banknote wastes disposal through open air burning with the aim of adopting more environmentally sustainable method thereby reducing its carbon foot print,” it said.
The regulator explained that recycling is the process of converting waste materials into reusable objects to prevent wastage of potentially useful materials, reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, minimise energy usage, avoid probable air pollution (from incineration) and water pollution (from landfilling).