WASTE GENERATION AND MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES
Background of the study
The generation and disposal of waste is an intrinsic part of any developing or industrial society. Waste, both from domestic and commercial sources has grown significantly in Nigeria over the past decade. Every time a householder shops at the store, and open market he contributes to the mountain of waste. It is possible to quote figures which show that the production of waste amounts to millions of tons. The percent of Nigeria’s population living in cities and urban areas has more than doubled in the last 15 years.
The cities and urban areas experience continuous growth which contributes to enormous in generation of solid and liquid waste. The management of waste is a matter of national and international concern. The volume of waste does not actually constitute the problem but the ability or inability of governments, individuals and waste disposal firms to keep up with the task of managing waste and the environment. There is no doubt that a dirty environment affects the standard of living, aesthetic sensibilities, health of the people and thus the quality of their lives.
The corollary is that improper disposal or storage of this waste can constitute hazards to the society through the pollution of air, land and especially water. In this paper, our attention would be focused on domestic waste. We will highlight some of the problems which have attended the management of this category of waste in Nigeria today. It will be seen that Nigeria has not done well in the direction of tackling the menace of domestic waste. This is even in the face advanced management strategies existing today for domestic waste management which have been adopted in many places. We will proffer suggestions that may assist in addressing this issue that seems to be aborting most efforts of International organizations, the federal government, city authorities, states and professionals alike.
The defective strategies and arrangements adopted for solid waste management in Nigerian cities create the erroneous impression that urban waste management problems are intractable. This sterns from the fact that the rate of collection and evacuation perpetually lag behind the rate of generation which makes solid waste accumulation a major source of environmental nuisance in Nigerian cities. Waste management therefore, concerns the interplay among generation, storage, collection and final disposal (Omuta, 1988).