In Nigeria and particularly in Zaria city of Kaduna state, open dumping is still the most common household waste disposal method/practice. This type of practice is un hygienic and environmentally unfriendly. This research is aimed at effective household waste management practices in the study area. The research found that there are some other types of management or disposal method in practice in the study area, these include the use of packing and burning, dumping in pits outside the house and dumping in streets by residents, wheel barrows. Also included are scavengers, Ministry of Environment and private organizations that are involved in household waste. Data for the study include the use of observations, questionnaire administration and oral interviews in data gathering and analysis. The research, recommends that the state government should provide household waste management equipment and vehicles, generators on loan for waste management authorities. Waste management such as the construction of sanitary land fills, purchase of incinerators for recycling plants, encourage waste to wealth practices as this would actually reduce the amount of waste that would be physically available in the study area.
One of the greatest hazards of man today is poor sanitary condition of his environment, which is being caused by his daily activities, such as waste generation, increase in population and attendant increase in agricultural, industrial and commercial activities.
U.S AD-Hoc Group for science and technology (1969), and Adegoke (1990) defined waste as substances and materials or objects which are disposed off according to the provision of a national law. Basically, wastes can exist in three different states-gaseous, liquid and solid. The people are more sensitive to solid waste than to the others. This is because solid wastes have the potential of accumulating and physically insulting the environment.
In the past, the advance effects of human activities were spread over large expense of land and sea. With the measure increase in pollution in recent times and the growth of cities and rapid industrialization, waste discharge have multiplies concentrated at a few model points.
Solid wastes are unwanted materials that cannot flow directly into steams or rise immediately in the air. They are non-liquid, non-gaseous residues of manufacturing, construction, cooking, recreation, agriculture and other activities that use and then discard materials.
They include glasses, bottles, outdated newspapers, carton, plastic, bottles, abandoned automobiles and automobiles parts, discarded cooking utensils, wraps, dead animals et cet era.
Effective solid waste management is achievable only when socio-economic factors are integrated into solid waste management studies. This approach would, according to Hudson and Marks (1977), make it possible to predict not only the expenditure pattern of a household and how much waste would be generated by each particular item consumed, but also the qualities of wastes generated by household. The first note worthy attempt at studying this problem based on this approach was made by Boyd and Hawkins (1971) With limited success, it would be argued that this approach may make it possible to transform the data generated into an input a national solid waste generation projection since that household is the basic wait of consumption and waste generation. Projection of this nature would assist urban environmental planner to better and rationally tackle this problem of waste urban areas. In addition, waste management agencies may use the results of such studies as an instrument for improving or initiating innovations in waste management practices.
It is the realization of the need to highlight the socio-economic aspects of wastes generation and management and their implication for solid wastes managements that provided a case for the present study of Zaria city area of Kaduna state.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Improper waste management leads to pollution and subsequently degradation of the environment. It also adds substances that affect the environment, which because of their nature and quantity constitute a menace to the health and well being of the individuals, the society and the environment as a whole. The Environmental Act of the United Kingdom defines waste as any substance or object which the holder discards or intends to discard (Freeman, 1990).
The available infrastructure for absorbing wastes generated by urban dwellers in Nigeria is grossly inadequate, consequently uncontrolled proliferation of solid wastes dumps is a common feature of most Nigerian cities. These solid wastes appears in various sizes. For example, they could be small, medium, or large depending on the number of households that the dumps serve. In most cases, these dumps are located at the backyards of the dwelling units, roadsides, gutters, streams, abandoned buildings and so on.
Most solid waste dumps are usually invaded by scavenging animals which scatter the wastes to make them breeding grounds for disease vector such as rats and flies. Besides direct contamination of water bodies by these waste, leachartes from decomposing and purifying solid wastes percolate into soil and nearby water sources which could cause disease to humans when consumed. This is particularly the case of un-collected solid wastes which find their way either back to the neighborhoods or into open river channels which become blocked, thus creating favorable breeding grounds for mosquitoes and in some cases block drainage ways, causing floods.
For solid wastes to be effectively managed to ensure the acceptable level of environmental quality required for sustainable growth and development in the urban settings, developing or applying accurate methods of estimating the amount of waste generated and disposed constitute a fertile area of research.
Such methods require accurate information on the types and quantities of solid wastes, generated by households the socio economic profiles of the household waste management systems and mechanisms used by the households and the waste disposal strategies.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Household waste generation increases due to increase in population and household activities. The cost of maintaining the environmental quality also increases as government now have much more wastes to dispose.
Household waste management and practice is amongst the problems affecting Zaria City. Despite the setting up of Kaduna State Environmental Protection Agency (KEPA), the situation has remain largely characterized by indiscriminate dumping of wastes, such as food waste, paper, polythene, scrap mutals et cet era, in virtually everything every part of of the area and have constituted problems like heap waste which can cause road/rail blockage, air pollution, open air burning, leach ate which has adversely affected the general aesthetic nature of the environment. This problem also causes some health related problems due to the incidence of improper waste management practices such as cholera, typhoid, malaria and diahroea for solid wastes to be effectively managed to incur the acceptable level of environment in the urban settings developing or applying accurate methods of estimating the amounts of waste generated and disposed constitute a fertile area of research.
Such methods require accurate information on the types and quantities of solid waste generated by household waste management systems mechanisms used by the households and the knowledge, the information required for proper household waste generation, management and disposal in Zaria city is locking. The research questions predicating the study are:
- What quantities of each types of waste are generated by the households in Zaria
- What quantities of each types of waste are generated by the households?
- What are the major socio-economic characteristics of the households?
- What major household chores generate these wastes?
- What are the solid wastes management strategies?
- In what ways do the household characteristics influence these solid waste generation and management strategies?
- Are these influence uniform or do they differ from household to household or from one study area to another.