New Trends In Waste Management: Nigeria And North American Perspective

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Chapter One


1.1 Background to the Study

It is widely accepted that the management of solid waste is a global problem. This problem is even more pronounced in developing countries such as Nigeria where solid waste management is a major concern. Adeyemi et al. (2001) observed that solid waste constitutes a major problem in most developing countries. Adeyemi added that waste management is one of the most intractable problems facing city administrators and environmental agencies. Ogwueleka (2009) reported that solid waste management is by far one of the greatest challenges facing environmental bodies in the country. As a result of the management challenges, Adefemi&Awokunmi (2009) reported a breakdown of law and order in relation to waste management. They observed that urban centres are experiencing an increased rate of environmental deterioration as a result of indiscriminate dumping of solid waste.

Waste is defined as materials of solid or semi solid character that the possessor no longer considers of sufficient value to retain (Gilpin, 1976).The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation ( 2007 ) also defined solid wastes in simple words as any discarded (abandoned or considered waste-like) materials. There are different types of waste: municipal waste (including household and commercial waste), industrial waste (including manufacturing), hazardous waste, construction and demolition waste, mining waste, waste from electrical and electronic equipments, biodegradable municipal waste, packaging waste, and agricultural waste. Solid wastes can be solid, liquid, and semi-solid or containerized gaseous material. Also, there are various sources of waste: residential, industrial, commercial, institutional, construction and demolition waste; municipal services manufacturing process, agriculture.

Municipal solid waste (MSW) is defined to include refuse from households, nonhazardous solid waste from industrial, commercial and institutional establishments (including hospitals), market waste, yard waste, and street sweepings. MSW is defined by Cointreau (1982) as non-air and sewage emissions created within and disposed of by a municipality, including household garbage, commercial refuse, construction and demolition debris, dead animals, and abandoned vehicles. Municipal solid waste is generally made up of paper, vegetable matter, plastics, metals, textiles, rubber, and glass (USEPA, 2002).

The solid waste management problem in Nigerian cities is becoming more alarming. The volume and range of solid wastes generated daily in Nigeria has been 2 increasing within the last few years. This is mainly due to the high population growth, urbanization, industrialization and general economic growth (Ogwueleka, 2004).

Cities are regarded as the most efficient agents of production (Hardoy, Mitlin and Satherthwaite, 2001). This population increase compounds the problems of solid waste management. Worse still, government agencies responsible for managing solid wastes, especially in urban areas are either nonexistent or ineffective. Urban land use becomes complex as the city grows in population and physical size and so does the solid waste generation increase in volume and varieties. Urban land uses vary from residential, commercial, industrial, institutional; and others, with each category generating its own peculiar type of solid waste. However, residential land use constitutes the single most important generator of solid waste in Nigeria urban areas (Adegoke, 1990). Because of the complexity of the household wastes, the socioeconomic structure of the urban population becomes a major determinant of the spatial structure of solid waste problems in our cities. Uwadiegwu(2003) in a study noted that the quantity of municipal solid waste produced depends upon the living standard of the residents, urbanization and industrialization.

Okoye (2004) identified household size, income level, level of technological advancement and socio-economic status as factors that affect the quantity of solid waste generation, but however, noted that a single factor may not on its own constitutes a difference in the quantity of waste generated by a household. Afon (2005), in a study of waste generation in Oyo State, Nigeria, discovered that as education, income and social status increase, per capita waste generation declines. This, he explained is partly influenced by the differences in employment/livelihood pattern in the area. On the main 3 cause of solid waste crises in Nigeria, Igbodobe and Anyata (2009) identify the problems of insufficient available data, funding, poor understanding of solid waste management and residents‘attitude. It is common for most of the solid waste generated in urban areas to be collected and dumped indiscriminately within or on sites outside the city without site preparation. Sule, (2001), however, observes that the type of waste disposal method adopted in any particular area depends largely on the prevailing local conditions such as availability of open space, accessibility and attitude of the people. From a global perspective Ali et al (1999) reiterates that disposal practice vary from city to city and country to country. As a panacea, Dung-Gwon and Magaji (2007) stressed that enforcement of waste management legislation is required as a proper policy and planning framework for waste management. Urbanization directly contributes to waste generation, and unscientific waste handling causes health hazards and urban environment degradation.

1.2 Statement of Problem

In recent years, there has been a phenomenal increase in the volume of wastes generated daily in the country. This is due to a number of reasons including the increasing population growth rate, increasing urbanization, industrialization and economic growth. In addition, many urban areas of Nigeria and North America lack effective waste management systems. As a result, most urban households’ resort to the haphazard 8 dumping, burning and/or burying of solid wastes. (Agunwamba, Egbuniwe and Ogwueleka 2003)

Agunwamba (1998) stated that the problem of waste management in Nigeria is due to the absence of public policy, enabling legislation and an environmentally stimulated and enlightened public. Appropriate policy and institutional mechanism for implementation of waste management strategies are critical for sustainable waste management. Where the policy is poor or the public is not properly sensitized or there are no proper enforcement of laws and regulations, waste management is a problem or challenge.

Urban solid waste management in Nigeria and north America is constitutionally the responsibility of the third tiers of government, that is, the local government council. Financial, material and human resources that have been committed to waste management by this tier of government have not matched this responsibility. This is evident by the poor management of many landfill sites and soil and groundwater pollution due to often mixing of household, industrial and toxic waste (UNEP, 2000). In view of the environmental situation described above in many urban areas, many Nigerian cities have been described as dirty, unsanitary, and aesthetically displeasing in the world (Mabogunje, 1996). It is evident that management of solid waste remains a key issue to be addressed in this country.

In north America, collection, transportation, treatment and disposal of municipal solid waste have been neglected for several years because of inadequate resources. The existing institutions are inadequately equipped in terms of skills and capital resources to 9 effectively manage the waste problems (NEAP, 1998). Waste collection and transportation activities are quite poor organized.

Waste generation is primarily a function of people’s consumption patterns and thus is based on their socioeconomic characteristics. Low-income groups and the very poor typically generate low volumes of organic waste. In Tashkent, Uzbekistan, for example, there is little food to go around and the parts that are not consumed by the household members are used for the domestic animals or composted to amend the garden soil. Those who are somewhat better off may share leftovers as well as old clothing with those more needy (Bernstein 1999).

The World Bank poverty and social impact assessment for Cashmere Sector Improvements, 2004, further stated that waste generation is also influenced to an important degree by people’s attitudes toward waste: their patterns of material use and waste handling, their interest in waste reduction, the degree to which they separate wastes, and the extent to which they refrain from indiscriminate dumping and services. Attitudes may be positively influenced through awareness building campaigns and education about the negative aspects of inadequate waste collection with regard to public health and environmental conditions, and the value of effective disposal. Such campaigns also should inform people of their responsibility as waste generators and of their rights as citizens to adequate solid waste management services (Kudat, 1988).

Therefore, the research problem seeks to identify the trend in waste management in Nigeria and North America and also to assess the way waste in both study area is managed towards providing a better way of solid waste collection and disposal, and proposing an institutional framework that will help the government agency for a better solid waste management structure.

1.3 Research Objectives

  1. To examine the trend of waste management in North America.
  2. To analyzed the trend of solid waste management in Major cities in Nigeria
  3. To find out the pattern of solid waste management in Nigeria and North America

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What is the trend of waste management in North America?
  2. What is the trend of solid waste management in Major cities in Nigeria?
  3. What is the pattern of solid waste management in Nigeria and North America?

1.5 Significance of the Study

Although a lot of study has been done on the issue of solid waste across major cities of the world, nevertheless this study want to demonstrate an aspect of understanding that a lot of the strategies used by both Nigeria and some countries in North America. It is enough to put structures in place to maintain waste. it will require some level of supervision and maintenance and also as you swing the structure into action think of sustainability. Nigeria and North America was chosen because of its huge disposal of waste and improper waste management. Waste generation is an important aspect of the study which was used with the annual population growth to project future waste generation between 5-10 years ahead, knowing well that our population is on the increase daily statistic from both administrations shows that about 100,000 people come into commercial areas daily, only 15,000 traveled back. This research will greatly affect planners, policy makers and the public to evolve rational and sustainable policies on proper solid waste management and disposal practice in Abuja. The findings in this research will arouse awareness and involvement of residents within and outside the capital city and neighbouring states around in solid waste management for sustainable and responsible environmental management.

1.6 Scope of the Study

The study was aim at analyzing the trend of waste management with particular reference of Nigeria and North America. The study will used secondary data from 2000-201


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