What is waste?
Any material that is a waste product, an effluent, or another surplus material produced during the execution of a process. It also covers any material or item that needs to be thrown away because it is damaged, worn out, infected, or in some other way ruined.
What is Waste management?
The whole process of managing garbage, from generation to disposal, is referred to as waste management or waste disposal. Collection, transportation, treatment, and disposal of waste are all included, along with monitoring and regulation. It also includes the legislative and regulatory framework related to waste management, including recycling recommendations, etc.
Nigeria’s history of waste management
In most Nigerian cities, waste management is a significant environmental concern. The projected waste creation rate in Nigeria is 0.65 to 0.95 kg per inhabitant per day, translating to an average of 42 million tonnes of waste produced yearly. This is more than half of the 62 million tonnes of garbage that are produced in sub-Saharan Africa each year, and the country has a significant challenge in determining where and how to channel these pollutants.
To accomplish a variety of objectives, the Federal Government of Nigeria passed Decree No. 58 on December 30, 1988, creating the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA).
In Nigeria, waste management is one of the key responsibilities of the municipal, state, and federal governments. Municipal garbage management is also handled at the state level by state environmental protection agencies and state waste management organizations. In Nigeria’s large cities and towns, garbage is now controlled by each state’s environmental protection agency and waste management agency.
Municipal garbage is a major source of environmental risks, and as can be shown below, Nigeria has given a unique regulatory system for protection in this area. But the issue still remains: Can Nigeria’s regulatory system handle the problems brought on by the rising rate of trash production?
In Nigeria, there are several statutes and organizations that control how garbage is disposed of and managed. the National Environmental Standards Regulatory and Enforcement Agency (NESREA); the Federal Ministry of Environment; the Ministries of the Environment of the States; the Ministries of Water Resources; the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LSWMA) and other various state waste management authorities; the States’ Environmental Protection Agencies such as the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA); and the States’ Waste Disposal Boards.
Waste Management methods in Nigeria
Solid Waste Management
One method for reducing trash is composting. The mechanism suggests a biological method of waste disposal. Microorganisms convert complex organic substances into simpler ones through their metabolic activity.
2. Controlled burying and tipping
Solid trash that is not disposed of or recycled should be recycled. Disposal can be effected in several ways. However, the technique that can permanently separate the waste is the most crucial. Controlled tipping is a strategy that meets this. It is a method for isolating garbage of any kind without having to sift or separate it.
By converting organic and combustible trash to inorganic, incombustible stuff using a high temperature, dry oxidation process, waste volume and weight are significantly reduced.
Liquid Waste Management methods in Nigeria
Liquid waste management is a methodical approach to the management of operations that ensure the correct processing, treatment, and disposal of liquid waste/wastewater or sewage. The following are some forms of liquid waste management method:
1. Disposal by dilution/ “Self-purification of water bodies”
In certain places, it is normal practice to dump raw sewage into nearby water bodies, such as rivers, streams, etc., in order for the water to dilute or weaken it.
A cesspool is a hole excavated in the earth to collect sewage from barns, bathrooms, and kitchens.
3. Septic system
Small housing estates, institutions like schools and hospitals, as well as single-family homes in low-density residential regions, frequently employ septic tanks to handle their wastewater. Toilet waste alone or along with sullage may be present in the wastewater.
Blood, pus, urine, feces, and other bodily fluids are examples of contaminated wastes, as are any products that come into touch with them, such as old bandages. Wastes from hospitals (human tissue, blood-soaked sponges, gauze, or cotton), laboratories (blood, feces, sputum, urine samples, and microbiological cultures), and operating rooms should be regarded as contaminated.
Used needles, scalpel blades, and other infected medical equipment can transmit blood-borne illnesses including hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and AIDS. These materials are also regarded as hazardous garbage.
How to get rid of contaminated solid waste
Microorganisms may be present in solid contaminated waste such as surgical specimens, old dressings, and other things contaminated with blood and organic compounds.
STEP 1: Wearing heavy-duty or utility gloves is the first step to taking care of hazardous solid wastes.
STEP 2: Place contaminated solid wastes in a plastic or galvanized metal container with a tight-fitting lid before disposing of them.
STEP 3: Regularly collect the garbage containers, and then move the ones that can be burned to the incinerator or other burning location.
STEP 4: Take off your work gloves (wash daily or when visibly soiled and dry).
How to get rid of contaminated liquid waste
Human tissue, blood, excrement, urine, and other bodily fluids are examples of liquid contaminated waste that needs to be handled carefully since doing so might expose local healthcare professionals to an infectious danger.
STEP 1: Wear personal protection equipment (PPE) (utility gloves, safety goggles, and plastic apron) when handling and moving liquid-contaminated garbage.
STEP 2: is to gently pour wastes into a utility sink drain or into a flushable toilet, and then rinse the toilet or sink with water to get rid of any leftover wastes. Don’t splash.
STEP 3: is to dispose of liquids in a deep, covered pit rather than into open sewers if there is no sewage system.
STEP 4: involves cleaning the specimen containers after decontaminating them with a 0.5 percent chlorine solution for 10 minutes.
STEP 5: Take off your work gloves (wash daily or when visibly soiled and dry).
STEP 6: Wash and dry hands.
Importance of waste management in Nigeria
1. Recycling and Re-use
Waste management enables the reuse of items that are otherwise discarded. It enables us to address our demands while also preventing ongoing environmental exploitation.
Recyclability offers people new revenue opportunities. It creates new commercial possibilities.
Long-term rubbish accumulation and storage can release hazardous substances that are harmful to one’s health. Skin irritations, growth issues, reproductive issues, respiratory issues, and blood infections can all result from exposure to such garbage.
Waste management aids in the decrease of these dangerous ailments. Additionally, it enhances neighborhood and public health conditions by enhancing cleanliness, eliminating mosquito breeding grounds, and lowering air pollution through garbage burning.
3. Changing Climate
Many companies release smoke and effluents directly into the atmosphere without first filtering or treating them. Sometimes individuals choose to dispose of their waste by burning it. Due to all of these activities, more greenhouse gases are produced, which contributes to global warming and has an impact on the ozone layer.
Proper Waste Management employs a variety of methods, including filters, liners, and incinerators, to ensure that these hazardous substances are kept apart from smoke and other effluents and prevented from escaping into the atmosphere.
4. Earning money
If you live in a neighborhood where there are mountains of trash, you may organize a group of individuals to work together on your waste collecting company. Many businesses and residents are prepared to pay someone to dispose of their rubbish. Additionally, you may recycle trash to create valuable items that you can then sell. This will assist not only in cleaning up your cities but may also be a significant step in regreening our world.
- John Aina Ajibola has a Masters degree as an engineer and has over 3 years of teaching and research experience. He is happiest when on a bike and is also interested in electric energy and computer Science.