THE EFFECTS OF SOLID WASTE TO BUSINESS ENVIRONMENTS IN NIGERIA. A RESEARCH PROJECT MATERIAL ON ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Solid wastes comprise all the wastes arising from human and animal activities that are normally solid, discarded as useless or unwanted. Also included are by- products of process lines or materials that may be required by law to be disposed of (Okecha 2000). Solid waste can be classified in a number of ways, on the basis of sources, environmental risks, utility and physical property. On the basis of source, solid wastes are again classified as: Municipal Solid Wastes, Industrial Solid Wastes and Agricultural Solid Wastes. Nigeria’s major urban centres are today fighting to clear mounting heaps of solid waste from their environments. These strategic centres of beauty, peace and security are being overtaken by the messy nature of over flowing dumps unattended heaps of solid wastes emanating from household or domestic or kitchen sources, markets, shopping and business centres. City officials appear unable to combat unlawful and haphazard dumping of hazardous commercial and industrial wastes which are a clear violation of the clean Air and Health Edicts in our environmental sanitation laws, rules and regulation.
Refuse generation and its likely effects on the health, quality of environment and the urban landscape have become burning national issues in Nigeria today. All stakeholders concern with the safety and the beautification of our environment have come to realize the negative consequences of uncleared solid human wastes
found in residential neighbourhoods, markets, schools, and central business districts in our cities. These solid wastes have become recurring features in our urban environment. It is no longer in doubt that Nigerian cities are inundated with the challenges of uncleared solid wastes. As a result, urban residents are often confronted with the hazardous impact to their collective health and safety.
A United Nations Report (August 2004) noted with regret that while developing countries are improving access to clean drinking water they are falling behind on sanitation goals. At one of its summit in 2000 (Uwaegbelun 2004) revealed that The World Health Organization-(WHO 2004) and United Nations International Children Education Fund- (UNICEF 2004) joint report in August 2004 that: “about 2.4 billion people will likely face the risk of needless disease and death by the target of 2015 because of bad sanitation”. The report also noted that bad sanitation – decaying or non-existent sewage system and toilets- fuels the spread of diseases like cholera and basic illness like diarrhea, which kills a child every 21 seconds.