This post looks at how Nigeria can Generate wealth through proper waste management. Do you know that Nigeria can generate billions of Naira annually from the wastes generated in the country? Do you also know that individually you can also turn your wastes into a source of passive income? Sure, you can reduce waste generated in your homes and offices and save your self some expenses.
But instead of harnessing this great economic potential. The wastes are allowed to constitute environmental and health hazards to the society.
Now, before I proceed to explaining how we can achieve this. Let us understand what wastes are. And the negative consequences of improper waste management.
WHAT ARE WASTES
Wastes are materials, products, by products, or remnants of a product which the user feels he has no further use for.
Such a product is discarded as no longer useful. Or not required after the completion of a process. (pardon the long explanation)
From the above explanation, you will realize that:
• a material becomes waste because we feel we no longer have use for it. Therefore term it so and discard it.
• as long as humans live and use products, wastes must be generated.
• wastes are necessary end in the life cycle of products.
Now, lets look at the various consequences of improper waste management. And how to manage this wastes to our benefit.
CONSEQUENCES OF INDISCRIMINATE WASTE DISPOSAL
• ENVIRONMENAL HAZARDS: Most cities (dont want to mention names) in Nigeria today are very untidy. No thanks to poor waste management.
Such wastes emit gases like methane, carbon monoxide and so on. These emissions heat up the atmosphere and create other enviromental hazards.
• HEALTH HAZARDS: The depletion of ozone layer by gases from these wastes cause certain skin diseases.
Also, toxic wastes from industries pollutes our land, water and air. This is quite detrimental to our health and even agricultural production.
Also see: How to Stop Gas Flaring in Nigeria.
• ECONOMIC HAZARDS: As a result of lack of proper waste management culture in Nigeria, our country loses billions of naira annually.
Wastes such as flared gases amounts to millions. Also the effects of such wastes on our environment and health are unjustifiable.
They lead to loss in manpower productivity, agricultural productivity and tourism revenue.
The best way to stop all these hazards or minimize them is to engage in recycling. As a waste management technique.
HOW NIGERIA CAN TURN WASTE TO WEALTH – RECYCLING
Recycling is the process of turning wastes into useful materials or products.
Though, other means of waste management exist. Such as incineration and land-filling. But, they have numerous shortcomings.
For instance, incineration which involves waste burning emits carbon monoxide into the atmosphere.
Land-filling on the other hand, emits poisonous methane gas. It is also a source of water, air and soil pollutant.
Good examples are dump sites situated in different states of the country.
BENEFITS OF RECYCLING
Waste recycling leaves our environment clean and beautiful. This can be an attraction for tourists.
Recycling would also provide us with gas for cooking and power generation.
For instance, according to EPA, USA generated about 250 million tonnes of solid waste in 2010. And recycled about 85 million tonnes of these materials. This according to EPA saved the US about 1.3 quadrillion Btu of energy. Which is equivalent to 229 million barrels of oil.
Now, lets consider Nigeria which generates over 65 million tonnes of waste annually. If we replicate what the US is doing. And recycle about 34 percent of the wastes.
Then, we would be recycling about 22 million tonnes of wastes annually. This would save the country about 59 million barrels of oil annually.
This would go a long way in solving the major problem of this country. Which is power generation.
Recycling also have ripple effect employment generation potential.
Experts would be employed in the recycling agencies to collect, transport, sort and even recycle the wastes.
Also, other agencies or firms that supply them with recycling materials would employ people.
Finally, with a good waste management technique. Like recycling. Health hazards caused by indiscriminate disposal of waste would be minimized.
ROLES OF THE GOVERNMENT
• The government should fund the waste management boards to undertake recycling. Or even encourage private firms to do so.
• Homes, offices, industries, schools, and hospitals where these wastes are generated should be re-orientated.
• The government should equally educate the masses on simple recycling techniques. Like composting. And provide them with waste bags for non biodegradable wastes.
• Government should enact laws against indiscriminate disposal of wastes. And ensure that offenders are punished.
• Seperate wastes bins for biodegradable and non biodegradable wastes should be placed at public places. Like motor parks, junctions, streets and so. This would help in the sorting process before recycling.
ROLES OF INDIVIDUALS
The fight against indiscriminate disposal of waste must start at the individual level.
You and I must compliment government effort. By doing the following:
• Stop littering the environment.
• Dispose wastes as directed by waste management agencies.
• Compost biodegradble wastes and use it to tend our gardens and farms.
• Sell or donate composts to farmers if you have no need for it.
• Start or join non governmental enviromental societies.
• Gather and sell non biodegrables like aluminium or metal scraps.
STOP INDISCRIMINATE DISPOSAL OF WASTE
JOIN IN ERADICATING POLLUTION IN OUR NATION.
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DROP YOUR COMMENT AND QUESTIONS AND I WOULD BE GLAD TO FURNISH YOU WITH ENLIGHTENED REPLIES.
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