Proposal on Waste Management
Waste production, both household and manufacturing waste, continues to increase world-wide in tandem with growth in consumption. In developed countries, per capita waste generation increased nearly three-fold over the last two decades, reaching a level five to six times higher than that in developing countries. With increases in populations and living standards, waste generation in developing countries is also increasing rapidly, and may double in volume in the current decade. If current trends continue, the world may see a five-fold increase in waste generation by the year 2025. A high proportion of the waste could be recycled by the urban poor generating income for themselves and protecting the environment. There is a need to develop an integrated approach where the public, private and community sectors have to work together work together to develop local solutions promoting sustainable solid waste management.
No single solution has been identified that completely answers the question of what to do with solid waste. Every community or region has its own unique profile regarding solid waste. The attitudes of people in different regions of each country vary regarding waste management practice. The diversity of communities and their waste is one reason why no single approach to waste management has been accepted as "the best" method. Since there is no preferred method, every community must create its own "best approach" to dealing with its waste. However, all communities have the same alternatives.
Waste management practices vary from country to country in Africa. Although majority of large cities have administered waste management practices of different level of sophistication, in some African countries there is no official solid waste management policy. . Solid waste is disposed in the natural streams and rivers, in the surrounding bush or marshland.
In Nigeria, a nationwide public education campaign was conducted under the banner of sanitation. Some of these programs began in the mid-1980s and continue in operation to the present time. In most cases they were undertaken by the district governate for the municipal area in collaboration with community service organizations, the health department, the education department, and the media. The results of these programs ranged from drastic reductions in indiscriminate dumping to community-based MSW pre-collection and street cleaning.
Traditionally organic waste is also used for feeding domestic animals and as fertilizer in gardening. In many cases, solid waste disposal points are spontaneously created along the most accessible roads around the areas. Depending on the performance of the official collecting system, the disposal points are more or less important. Also times, fire is used to burn heaps of waste. This creates toxic smoke, which is detrimental for health. Solid waste is disposed in bulk without prior sorting or treatment. Many attempts are made by NGOs, supported by donors, to introduce the presorting of household solid waste into organic and inorganic, reusable and non-reusable waste. They further encourage composting with organic matter and recovery of other forms of solid waste. In general, the vital needs for the African urban population are zoning of the land, quantitative and qualitative availability of water, availability of energy, good drainage of rainwater, good final disposal of used water, the good final disposal of solid and liquid waste, adequate market place, hygiene and sanitation.
Waste handling practices include collection, transfer, reuse, recovery, recycling, composting and incineration. Brief review of waste handling practices based on available literature for Africa is given below. In late 1970s an Italian firm constructed an incineration plant in Lagos, Nigeria. After lengthy commissioning process the plant operated for a short time and was closed due to operation difficulties and lack of spare parts.
In general, at the household level in low-income peri-urban areas, resource recovery begins with the reuse of plastic bags, bottles, paper, cardboard, and cans for domestic purposes, thereby extending their useful life. The rate of reuse in this instance is high, and these materials enter the waste stream only when they are no longer fit for domestic use. In high income areas, recovery is carried out by domestic servants and/or wardens. Rather than reusing the materials directly, they sell bottles, plastics, cardboard, and paper to middlemen or commercial centers that pay for these materials. The extent to which these transactions occur depends on the availability of marketable end uses for the materials. While such industries may be found in some primary cities, they are largely absent in secondary cities and in rural areas. Even in those cases where they are found, they do not consistently stimulate recycling in their host cities.
Most major cities in Africa have an established municipal waste collection system. Collection is carried out by human- and animal-drawn carts (wheelbarrows, pushcarts), open-back trucks, compactor trucks, and trailers. Collection rates across the continent range from 20 to 80%. Common feature of the municipalities is that they are ineffective, under-equipped and poorly maintained (often vehicle immobilization rates reach as high as 70%), inadequately funded and poorly staffed. Often collection services are limited to high visibility areas, the wealthy, and businesses willing to pay for this service. Where collection is performed by non-mechanical means, the volume of material to be collected often exceeds the capacity of the collection system. Because large areas of the cities are inaccessible to large vehicles, pre-collection is the first step in the waste management chain. Pre-collection is carried out by community groups in some areas not served directly by municipal vehicles. This is often carried out by small communal organizations or micro-enterprises that employ otherwise jobless youths, women, and sometimes even small children. Systems were initially funded by local or international NGOs. Collection from skips, a few transfer stations, or door-to-door in high income areas had been modeled on the North American and European systems. However, they typically deteriorated after three to five years because of the unsuitability of the vehicles and lack of maintenance budgets.
Composting is a controlled natural process of decomposition of organic waste material. It reduces the cost of waste disposal, minimize nuisance potential, and produce a clean and readily marketable finished product. Composting helps to increase the recovery rate of recyclable materials.
Despite the relative simplicity of composting, its suitability for developing countries, and its compelling economic and environmental benefits, several projects initiated over the past decades have failed due to technical, financial, and institutional reasons.
Incineration and waste-to-energy (WTE) presently do not play significant roles in municipal waste management in Africa. High costs relative to other MWM options, a limited infrastructure of human, mechanical and institutional resources, and high content of inerts in the waste stream suggest that incineration is an inappropriate technology for Africa now and for the foreseeable future. Incineration in Africa would be infeasible if the waste stream is indeed 70% (wet basis) putrescible organic content. Under these conditions, incineration is likely to be an energy-consuming rather than energy-producing option.
Worldwide, modern landfills that are properly designed and operated are the most cost-effective and environmentally acceptable means of waste disposal when population density and land availability are not at issue. Because of this, the use of landfills as the primary means of waste disposal is a preferred waste disposal option for Africa. Landfills are generally sited based on considerations of access to collection vehicles rather than hydrological or public health considerations. This practice ranges from cities in the more arid regions of the North Africa such as Algeria, Libya, and Sudan to those in higher rainfall central countries such as Cameroon and Zaire. The environmental and health consequences for water sources at risk are more significant for the latter cities than the former.
Of all the regions of the world, Africa has the lowest level of investment of World Bank funds in the solid waste sector. Despite a stand-alone solid waste and drainage project in Nigeria in the pre-1988 period, repeating such large investments in the solid waste sector has been contemplated only recently.
Common waste management practice in main African cities often include street sweeping. It is carried out by a private sector as well as by municipal public works staff. Street sweeping is most often performed manually. In some cities the streets are swept at dawn prior to the opening of the market places and commercial centers and prior to the first pass of the MSW collection service. In other cities sweeping occurs at dusk, with the closing of the market places and commercial centers.
The debris is deposited into public waste receptacles along the street and outside the market place. This waste is then removed later for disposal. Collections generally occur at dawn before the commercial centers open and at dusk after these centers have closed for the day. Collections from market places and commercial centers tend to be made in the evening while collections from residential areas and of street sweepings are made at dawn. In the case of markets with stalls assigned to individual vendors, the vendor is generally responsible for sweeping his/her stall and placing the debris at the curb. Municipal street sweepers then clean these common areas and set out the waste for pick up by the collection vehicle.
Environmental health refers to those aspects of human health, including quality of life, that are determined by physical, biological, social, and psychosocial factors in the environment.
Most causes of disease, injury, and death in developing countries lie outside the purview of the health sector. The lack of adequate waste collection and disposal systems in developing countries causes public health problems resulting in diseases, which aggravates poverty and leads to negative consequences such as loss of income due to illness, increased spending on health care, and the deprivation of the poor’s capability to live in a safer environment.
Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency - The management of the nation's apex maritime regulatory authority, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has lauded the management of African Circle Pollution Management Limited (ACPML) for the strides it has taken in fulfilling the agreement it signed with the Federal Government on the control of marine pollution in Nigeria's territorial waters. The agency, which has a mandate to enforce the global maritime watchdog, International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s conventions and guidelines in Nigeria, also commended the management of ACPML on its level of compliance with the provisions of the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB) Act.
The provisions of the Act, which were signed into law last year by President Good luck Jonathan seek to empower indigenous operators and boost the economy as it made it mandatory for operators in the oil and gas industry to ensure the use of local content in the execute of contracts in the country. Hitherto, it was not mandatory for operators in the oil and gas industry, as well as other sectors to use indigenous resources in the executions of projects in the country. This led to huge capital flight and the domination of the oil and gas industry by foreign operators.
Describing it as encouraging, he enjoined other companies in the maritime industry to emulate the management of ACPML in the implementation of the Local Content Act. ACPM was mandated by the Federal Government to provide waste reception facilities at the nation's seaports in line with the guidelines of global maritime watchdog, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), particularly marine pollution (MARPOL) 72, 73, and 78. This was sequel to the provisions of the agreement it signed with the Federal Government on build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis. The agency also reiterated its commitment to the effective implementation of the provisions of the IMO guidelines and conventions, especially MARPOL 73/78.
NIMASA Director General, Mr. Ziakede Akpobolokemi, stated this when he led top shots of the agency on a facility tour of the operations of the African Circle Pollution Management Limited (ACPML) located in the Free Zone, Snake Island, Lagos. Akpobolokemi was at ACPML facility in the Snake Island as part of efforts to ensure that the provisions of the IMO MARPOL 1973/78 Conventions as it relates to adequacy of port reception facilities in the country are complied with.
He disclosed that the management of the agency would support public private partnership (PPP) model to facilitate effective management of ship-generated waste within the Nigerian marine and coastal environment. According to him, the management of the agency would not relent in its efforts to implement the global maritime watchdog conventions as it relates to the management of the nation's marine environment. He added that a roadmap on marine waste management in Nigeria would soon be made public. He said that regulations of IMO and Nigerian laws were taken into consideration in arriving at the road map structured to provide the ideal platform to grow the business of managing waste generated in the Nigerian maritime environment.
Commending the management of ACPML for the Lagos operations, which he described as the best in the West Africa sub-region, Akpobolokemi enjoined the management of the firm, which has Mr. Ayodele Emmanuel as its Managing Director to work at improving operations in Port Harcourt, Calabar, Warri and One Ports.
He noted that investment in waste management in the Nigerian marine environment would not only improve the country's rating in the global maritime industry, but also have a multiplier effect of employment generation in Nigeria amongst others.