ASSESSMENT OF POTENTIALS OF WASTE TO WEALTH IN NIGERIA. A RESEARCH PROJECT MATERIAL ON BIOLOGY
Municipal solid wastes re-use and recycling have multiple socioeconomic and environmental benefits that have not been adequately examined in Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria. The objectives of this research are to: examine the socio-economic and demographic characteristics of waste management entrepreneurs; identify the sources and destinations of recyclable municipal solid waste; analyse the quantity of waste materials (metal scraps, plastics and cans) recovered, reused and transported for recycling; identify the type of uses recyclable materials are put into in the study area; and examine the socioeconomic benefit of waste re-use and recycling. A total of 252 scrap metal/plastic collectors, scavengers and artisanal recyclers‘ were studied using purposive and snowball sampling techniques. Tables, percentages, charts and multiple linear regression techniques were used for the analysis. The results showed that majority of the waste collectors within the twelve localities of Zaria were less than 20 years old. Generally, the low educational level of the respondents indicates that formal educational qualification is not a major determinant of being an actor in this type of business. Cans and aluminium, scrap metal, assorted plastics, are the major materials that attract waste entrepreneurs in Zaria. about 71.8% of waste collectors collect waste from multiple sources and majority of the waste actors about 61.5% collect less than 100 kg of valuable waste materials every week. Products produced by artisanal recyclers from cans and scrap Aluminium includes majorly pots and frying pan. A relatively high proportion (56.7%) of plastic collectors disposes the assorted plastics to those involved in reuse like, bottling of locally made drinks (Zobo and Kunu), traditional herbs and honey. The average monthly income for about 43.3% was above N16, 000. 00 which is quite better compared with the Nigerian minimum wage standard. Also all the respondents claimed that no harmful solid substances were released into the environment as a result of artisanal recycling activity. Further, about 30% of waste management entrepreneurs are employers of labour, with 13.5% having more than 6 employees. The multiple regression analysis revealed that the number of people employed in waste business and quantity of waste collected have significant impact on their income with coefficients of 0.343 and 0.360 respectively, while the coefficient of multiple determination (R2) indicate a total variation of 42.5% at 5% level of significance. However, challenges militating against waste recycling in Zaria include lack of a functional recycling plant; price fluctuation and the cost of conveying recyclables to recycling plants outside the study area among others.
It is concluded that municipal solid waste re-use and recycling activities contribute more to waste management than the government owned agencies in the study area. Their activities in sustainable waste management should be incorporated into the state environmental protection agency institutional framework.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The term ‗waste‘ has a different meaning for different people. In general, waste is ‗unwanted‘ for the person who discards it; a product or material that does not have a value anymore for the first user and is therefore thrown away. But ‗unwanted‘ is subjective and the waste could have value for another person in a different circumstance, or even in a different culture (Van de Klundert and Justine, 2001). There are many large industries that operate primarily or exclusively using waste materials such as paper and metals as their industrial raw materials. In the context of Integrated Solid Waste Management (ISWM), waste is regarded both as valueless and as a useful material providing a potential source of income. This real value of waste in many low-and middle-income countries (developing countries) is confirmed by the huge informal sector that lives on waste collection and recovery (Van de Klundert and Justine, 2001).